Business Magazine - October 2023

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What happened to the economy in 2023, and what does the economic outlook show for 2024? Join us for our annual Economic Outlook IMPACT Luncheon on December 7 as we welcome two of the region’s top economists for a discussion on the real facts, figures and trends impacting the local, regional, national and global economies — and how they can affect your business.

Ken Louie, Ph.D. is the director of the Economic Research Institute of Erie (ERIE) and an associate professor of Economics at Penn State Behrend. He is regularly sought out by news media for his commentary on the regional economy, as well international trade and finance, labor economics and economic development. He received the Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows Award for Excellence in Teaching and was a Fulbright Lecturer in the People’s Republic of China in 1998.

Kurt J. Rankin is vice president and senior economist for The PNC Financial Services Group. He is responsible for contributing to PNC’s regional, national and international economic analysis, including coverage of metropolitan area economies throughout PNC’s midwestern footprint. Rankin joined PNC in June of 2010 after a 10-year career with Moody’s Analytics. He is past president of The Economic Club of Pittsburgh - the local chapter of National Association of Business Economics (NABE). He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pittsburgh and his master’s degree in economics and finance from Venice International University (Venice, Italy). Rankin also holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix, with a concentration in global management.



Students, educators and business and community leaders will join us at the Bayfront Convention Center for an amazing exhibition of innovation, technology and career opportunities available in today’s manufacturing industry at the 10th annual MFG Day. In the evening, we will welcome a sold-out crowd of business leaders to the region’s premier networking occasion of the year, our 118th Annual Event, featuring keynote speaker Ambassador “Sully” Sullenberger, American fighter pilot, diplomat and airline pilot best known for the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

On behalf of the Manufacturer & Business Association, we want to thank all our sponsors, exhibitors, partners and guests for making these two big events ONE BIG SUCCESS!


Committed to Service since 1946 KeepAmericaStrong WELD IT!

3 Message from the Chairman

Kyle Blakeslee, general manager of Grede Foundry and 2023–2024 chairman of the Manufacturer & Business Association Board of Governors

56 MBA Staff & Services

Soaring to new heights in service and support.

57 A Special Message to Our Members

MBA President and CEO Lori Joint shares exciting updates and initiatives.

64 Reaching for the Stars

MBA honors HR professionals with new award for 2023.

67 HR Person of the Year Nominees

Learn more about this year’s honorees.

72 In Memoriam

MBA remembers contributions, service of business leaders who passed away in 2023.

Mission Statement: “ We are dedicated to creating and delivering services and expertise that help businesses solve problems and succeed.” – MBA Board of Governors

Executive Editor Karen Torres

Feature Photography Harry Walker Agency

Additional Photography

R. Frank Media Design, Production & Printing Printing Concepts Inc.

Advertising Sales Amy Breitfelder

Frank Mehler

David Thornburg

Manufacturer & Business Association Headquarters: 2171 West 38th Street Erie, PA 16508

Pittsburgh: 850 Cranberry Woods Drive, Suite 2224 Cranberry Township, PA 16066 814/833-3200 |800/815-2660 |

© Copyright 2023 by the Manufacturer & Business Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial, pictorial or advertisements created for use in the Business Magazine, in any manner, without written permission from the publisher, is prohibited. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot be returned unless accompanied by a properly addressed envelope bearing sufficient postage. The magazine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. The Business Magazine and Manufacturer & Business Association do not specifically endorse any of the products or practices described in the magazine. The Business Magazine is published monthly by the Manufacturer & Business Association, 2171 West 38th Street, Erie, Pa. 16508. Phone: 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660.

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shares his views of true leadership. Featured Companies AHN Saint Vincent................... 34 Erie County Redevelopment Authority 54 Highmark 14 40 2023 MFG Day 10th annual Manufacturing Day celebrates industry, technology and education. 44 MFG Day Showcase
‘National Anthem Girl’ Janine Stange to perform heartfelt tribute to nation at 118th Annual Event.
An American Hero 118th Annual Event keynote speaker
“Sully” Sullenberger
Company Profiles Betts Industries 7 Hoffman IndustriaL 11 Industrial Sales & Mfg, Inc. ......................... 71 Insurance Management Company 17 Logistics Plus 37 Ridg-U-Rak, Inc. 5 Reaching for the Stars! Congratulations! NOMINEES Congratulations! Congratulations! MBA Remembers Contributions, Service of Business Leaders Who Passed Away in 2023 and we recognize the countless contributions they made make our northwest Pennsylvania better place to live. HEIGHTSManufacturer & Business Association 2023–2024 Board of Governors 1 OCTOBER 2023
See some of the organizations that are supporting MFG Day 2023.
of Governors Meet the MBA’s Board
and Executive Committee, including a message
Immediate Past Chairman Jana Goodrich.

Life changing is... making a difference in

your community

As community outreach coordinator for Hamot Health Foundation, Drevell gets to serve families he has long loved and cared for. He literally goes door-to-door in the neighborhoods where he grew up to connect people to the UPMC resources they need — for health and wellness, food insecurity, education, and more. “I want every person I come across to feel like they matter, their story matters, and that they matter to this world,” said Drevell.

Dear MBA Members,

I am thrilled to share my thoughts on the limitless potential that lies ahead for the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) as we continue our journey of helping businesses thrive and succeed. Our organization was founded with a vision of fostering growth, collaboration and excellence within the business community, and I firmly believe that the sky is truly the limit for us.

Over the years, the MBA has evolved into a vibrant resource for innovation, knowledge and support. As we stand at the crossroads of a rapidly changing business landscape, we must recognize that the opportunities for growth are boundless. The challenges we face today only serve as stepping stones toward an even brighter tomorrow.

Our commitment to our members and partners has been unwavering, and this commitment will remain at the core of everything we do as we implement the next stage of growth and development as part of the MBA’s three-year strategic plan. As you will see in this year’s Annual Report, we are dedicated to providing cutting-edge


resources, insightful guidance and opportunities for networking, including this year’s 10th annual MFG Day and 118th Annual Event with keynote speaker, American hero Ambassador “Sully” Sullenberger, that transcend boundaries. By leveraging our collective expertise and fostering a culture of continuous learning, we continue to empower businesses to not only adapt to change but to thrive in it.

In this digital age, where innovation drives success, the MBA is poised to lead the charge. By embracing technology that promotes business growth, we are positioning ourselves for a successful future.

But our success story would be incomplete without our invaluable members and partners. Your dedication, passion and unwavering belief in the power of collaboration inspire us to reach for the stars. Together, we can create an environment where businesses flourish, job opportunities multiply and communities thrive.

As we embark on this journey forward, let us remember that the sky’s the limit — and we’re only just beginning. With a shared vision and a united effort, there is no challenge we cannot overcome, and no height we cannot reach. The Manufacturer & Business Association is not just an organization; it’s a force that propels businesses toward greatness. Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey!


3 OCTOBER 2023
Chairman Kyle Blakeslee is general manager of Grede Foundry in Meadville, Pennsylvania, a premier provider of iron castings. A Union City native, Blakeslee is a graduate of Penn State University where he earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He was named 2022 Citizen of the Year by the Union City Lions Club.


120 South Lake Street

North East, PA 16428

814/725-8751 or Toll-Free 866/479-7225

More than 75 Years of Excellence in Serving the Storage Rack Market


At the end of WWII, there was a growing need to modernize and expand the nation’s warehousing capabilities. Entrepreneurial business people began to develop innovative storage rack designs to fill those needs. Company after company was springing up, headed by owners who carved out a market share by providing a high level of personal service. In recent decades, however, most of those early family owned companies have been replaced by holding companies, investment bankers or corporate raiders. Virtually no companies like Ridg-U-Rak still exist.

Ridg-U-Rak was a minor player in those early years. Although limited in marketing vision and hampered by a lack of manufacturing automation, Ridg-U-Rak had some survival strengths that helped the company to continue to grow. Today, as the operation celebrates more than 75 years of serving the storage rack market, Ridg-U-Rak is commonly acknowledged as a company built on Integrity and Service, guided by the able leadership of

President and CEO John B. Pellegrino Sr., P.E., Vice President of Plant Operations John B. Pellegrino Jr. and Vice President of Sales and Engineering Mark E. Pellegrino.


Ridg-U-Rak now has two plants in North East, Pennsylvania, covering 160,000 square feet, with a production capacity of more than 140,000,000 pounds of finished steel products per year. With the addition in 2018 of its five-and-a-half-acre, under roof, warehouse and distribution center, Ridg-U-Rak has greatly increased the efficiency of its shipping department and freed up space for increasing manufacturing capacity at the main plant. These improvements are what contribute to it remaining one of the largest storage rack manufacturers in North America, and it is still a family owned business.

One of the key contributors to the company’s success has been the increased


talent base of its staff, with the ability to completely manage large projects from design and code compliance, through manufacturing, to final installation and customer approval.

Major capital investments in its manufacturing plants have been instrumental in improved productivity. Recent investments include the latest rolling mill equipment, a total shop layout re-vamping, an automated beam manufacturing line, and a 600-foot-long state-of-the-art powder coating line, which not only improves product quality, but also the company’s environmental imprint by reducing its liquid paint usage. From recycling programs to major transformations in manufacturing processes, the corporate philosophy includes doing what is necessary to meet 21st century sustainability expectations.


Ridg-U-Rak provides an unlimited array of storage options. Whether heavy industrial storage racks for large warehouses, deep and dense storage systems like Push-Back, Drive-In, and Pick Modules, or Narrow-Aisle and Deep-Reach systems, design engineers can layout storage arrangements to meet a customer’s unique load, throughput and capacity requirements. Ridg-U-Rak also provides small storage systems for pallet loads or hand-stacked cartons, and offers replacement parts that interchange with competitive racks. Many specialty storage options are available, including a racksupported crane system to store large dies and tools.

5 OCTOBER 2023
John B. Pellegrino Sr., P.E. , president and CEO

Doing What’s Best

Betts is a global supplier of critical safety components for the tank truck industry. Throughout its 100+ year history, the company has been steeped in a family culture and community values and has built a legacy and reputation for fair, honest business practices and genuine customer and employee relationships. Betts’ mission to strive each day to “Do What’s Best”— to live up to this legacy of unsurpassed customer service, industry leadership and innovative products that stand the test of time.

Family Values

Betts’ success lies in its unique culture. The company is widely known as the employer of choice in the region. “We believe that for the company to succeed, our team of employees must succeed,” says President Chad Betts. “This is demonstrated, annually, through the practice of employee profit sharing. All this is further enhanced by an extensive and diverse benefit package that places our employees and their families’ needs first. We recognize that the success of Betts’ employees bolsters the success of the company.”

Betts subscribes to a philosophy of continuous improvement. “We routinely reinvest in tooling, equipment and employee training in order to maintain state-of-the-art operations, processes and practices,” says Betts. “This ensures our team members have everything they need for career success and growth.”

Commitment to Innovation

Betts’ commitment to always do what’s best has positioned it as an industry leading manufacturer of critical safety components and lighting systems for the tank truck industry, worldwide. Betts’ employees have led the way with innovation and expertise in designing and producing a wide range of valves, manlids, pressure/vacuum relief valves, accessories and lighting systems for multiple liquid tank, dry bulk and industrial applications. Betts’ team is inspired to engineer, design and manufacture components that stand the test of time.

Betts’ Commitment to forward-thinking innovation include:

• GUARDIAN™ 407 Vent DEFENDER™ 407 Kit AIR COMMANDER™ air distributor, featuring positive visual confirmation of vent status

• TRU-FIT™ Lighting Kits with EZ-FIT™ Grommet light solution

Corporate Headquarters and Divisions

Betts’ corporate headquarters is in Warren, Pennsylvania. The facility that was established in 1901 has seen seven major expansions, growing to occupy 275,371 square feet on more than 15 acres of land.

This main facility houses Betts’ manufacturing, engineering, purchasing and sales departments, along with other business functions. A separate facility houses its lighting division. Unlike other


companies that may choose to leave their roots and move elsewhere, Betts is proud to play an important role in the community and has chosen to expand in this region, continuing to support the generations of employees who have chosen Betts as their family for over a century.

Contact Us To learn more about Betts Industries, visit
Inc. Betts Industries Inc. 1800 PA Avenue West Warren, PA 16365 814/723-1250
7 OCTOBER 2023

Your Business Banking Team

Matt Zonno Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer Daniel Walsh Vice President and Business Banker Katrina Vincent Assistant Vice President and Business Banker

working with local businesses to help them grow and succeed. With our local decision-making team, you can be confident that you’ll get personalized attention and tailored solutions.

“We know that business growth is crucial for long-term success, and we’re dedicated to helping you achieve your goals,” says Matt Zonno, executive vice president of business banking. “We take the time to understand your needs and develop a strategy that suits your business requirements.”

Talk with us at 814-455-4481. Or visit to learn more.

Jon Patsy Senior Vice President of Business Development for the Erie County Region Terry Danko Vice President and Business Banker Chad Ball Vice President and Manager of Business Banking Product Development and Services

Hoffman Industrial Co., Starlite Group Inc.

Ready for Your Next Industrial Project

Hoffman Industrial Co. continues to grow and expand its business and services.

Hoffman Industrial Co.

In business since 1846, Hoffman Industrial Co. has the unique distinction of being the oldest rigging and machinery moving company in continuous operation in the United States, as well as the oldest of any company on record in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Whether it is a total disassembly of a machine, a reassembly in another facility or simple machine installation, Hoffman has the experience to provide a safe productive solution to almost any customer need.

Proud of its rich history and tradition, Hoffman has grown to become a premier rigging/ machinery moving company. With modern equipment, industry specific trained workforce and proper insurance credentials for its industry, Hoffman Industrial is ready for your next rigging project.

Starlite Group Inc.

Starlite Group Inc offers machine tool service and rigging service. Starlite’s machine rebuild

and retrofitting services include mills, lathes, grinders, partial and complete overhauls, Bridgeport head rebuilding and emergency services.

Starlite’s state-of-the-art facility and highly trained service technicians are authorized to work on a variety of machine tools and control types. The company’s skilled service technicians will travel to your facility to diagnose and repair your machine tools or can pick up and deliver for in-house service and rebuilds.

Hoffman Industrial Co./Starlite Group Inc.

The combined company plans to expand its customer base and marketing reach offering the following services:

• Rigging/Machinery Moving

• Millwrighting

• Repair, rebuild service of all brands of machine tools

• Project Management

• Warehousing

• U.S. distributor of OX Self Propelled Trolley

• Contract machine maintenance

Hoffman Industrial Company

1510 Irwin Drive Erie, PA 16505 814/452-2698

Starlite Group Inc. 246 Race Street Meadville, PA 16335


“The fit and synergy has been perfect,” says Art Hammond, president of Hoffman Industrial. “Hoffman Industrial now offers machine disassembly and assembly to its rigging service, a true turnkey rigging/machinery operation. In addition, we increased Starlite’s rigging/ machinery moving capacity, establishing Meadville’s first local full-service rigging operation.”

Whether you are a small, medium or large company with single or multiple machines located locally or out of state, Hoffman Industrial Co. /Starlite Group Inc. is ready for your next industrial project. Visit or call 814/452-2698.

Art Hammond is the president and owner of Hoffman Industrial Co./Starlite Group Inc.
11 OCTOBER 2023

‘National Anthem Girl’ to Perform at 118th Annual Event

Janine Stange Delivers Heartfelt Tribute to the Nation

Janine Stange, best known as the “National Anthem Girl,” embarked on an awe-inspiring journey that resonated with patriotism, unity and a profound love for the United States. Her ambitious mission to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” in all 50 states in just over two years also was a testament to her unwavering dedication to both the anthem itself and the values it represents.

Now, thanks to Bonnell’s Truck & RV, Stange will bring her captivating voice to Erie, as she performs the nation’s most sacred song at the Manufacturer & Business Association’s 118th Annual Event on October 11 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie.

Janine Stange has performed the National Anthem in all 50 states.

“We are so thrilled that Janine accepted our invitation,” says Association President Lori Joint. “Her performance is a heartfelt tribute to the nation, and we are proud to have her here.”

In 2012, Stange, a Long Island, New York, native, embarked on a mission to honor our nation’s brave — the men and women who protect the freedom that “The Star-Spangled Banner” represents. Stange’s journey also embodied the spirit of the United States itself — a land of opportunity, dreams and a desire to create positive change.

Through her renditions of the National Anthem, Stange honored each state’s unique heritage while highlighting the shared thread that binds all Americans together. Her pilgrimage, which was completed in 2014, saw her performing the National Anthem in high-profile boxing rings, Major League Baseball stadiums, hockey rinks, NASCAR events, NFL gridirons, and also less colorful venues such as car show

tents, and even “The Center of the Universe” in an Idaho mining town. Stange’s voice, both powerful and soulful, seems to carry the weight of history and the dreams of a nation. She believes that the National Anthem is a representation of the people, a sonic embodiment of their shared values and aspirations. This belief shines through in her performances, which are characterized by a deep emotional connection that resonates with listeners.

Beyond her role as a singer, Stange has used her platform as a motivational speaker and on-air personality to inspire people to give back and identify ways to make a personal change. Stange has spoken to and performed for groups across the country ranging from Fortune 500 companies to inner-city public schools; and connects to all ages and backgrounds providing a sense of citizenship, duty, and what serviceover-self really means.

Stange also works closely with nonprofits that empower and give back to our military and their families, and is the founder of The Medal of Honor (MOH) Mail Call, which collects letters, postcards, drawings and paintings from grateful Americans all across the country and distributes them to MOH recipients as a way to thank our nation’s heroes.

In 2015, Stange also became the first person to sing the National Anthem every hour, 24 hours straight as part of an effort to raise funds for a military charity.

Stange has been featured on every major television network and has appeared on national news shows including: TODAY Show, Fox & Friends, NBC Nightly News, and Fox News @ Night. “National Anthem Girl” airs on Amazon Prime, and she can be heard every Thursday morning on Sirius XM’s 60’s on 6 with Phlash Phelps.

For more information, visit

13 OCTOBER 2023


Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Investing to Help Transform Mid-City Neighborhood

Anil and Dirpa Pradhan’s journey to a brighter future has been decades in the making.

The Bhutanese couple lived in a refugee camp in Nepal for 27 years, having escaped cultural violence there with their families, before settling in Erie, Pennsylvania in 2016. Now, living in the city’s historic Little Italy neighborhood, they found not only a welcoming community but a place to call home.

In 2020, the Pradhans became first-time homeowners with the help of the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network’s (SSJNN) Genesis Program.

The Pradhans saved money for two years and lived in a small apartment in the neighborhood while their future home was renovated.

This year, the Pradhans celebrated the completion of the process thanks to

contributions from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and other Highmark Healthaffiliated companies, including AHN Saint Vincent, United Concordia Dental, and HM Health Insurance.

Together, the companies have pledged $1.8 million over the span of 12 years to support the mid-city neighborhood revitalization the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network started six years ago between West 12th and West 26th, from Cranberry to Elm Streets. The funds, in addition to donations from community partners including Erie Insurance and Marquette Savings Bank, are helping SSJNN purchase and renovate blighted homes for the Genesis program, but also to purchase and remove blighted property and replace it with greenspace, to complete multiple façade improvements annually, and to install public art in the neighborhood. The revitalization efforts also are focused

on supporting the Little Italy Farmers Market, soup kitchen at St. Paul’s Church, emergency programs, bike programs, youth activities and community gardens over the next six years until 2029.

“We are proud to support the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network and helping create a brighter future for our community,” states Jim Teed, regional vice president for Highmark.

Adds SSJNN Executive Director Heather May Caspar, “We have a long history of partnership with Highmark, whose commitment to corporate responsibility has 100-percent mission match with SSJNN’s own priorities and goals in serving our neighborhoods and neighbors.”

Pillars of Hope

Highmark has been active in the communities it serves for a long time, but Highmark’s investment in the SSJNN transformation helped inspire the

Above: Bhutanese refugees Anil and Dirpa Pradhan (center) stand outside of their home with representatives of Highmark, Allegheny Health Network, United Concordia Dental, and the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network, during a May 2023 press conference. Highmark Health and its affiliates have pledged $1.8 million over 12 years to support the mid-city neighborhood transformation by the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network.
14 OCTOBER 2023 •

creation of the Highmark Bright Blue Futures charitable giving and community involvement program in 2022. Today, Highmark Bright Blue Futures strives to impact millions of lives in its service area of Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Delaware through its two pillars: Community Health and Community and Economic Resilience. The program is designed to ensure healthier, brighter, stronger futures for all, by improving equitable access to care, quality of life and economic resilience in the communities it serves through corporate giving and employee volunteerism.

the city’s older, innercity neighborhoods is crucial to ensure the revitalization and reinvestment in Erie and its future.

Highmark views such investments as an important catalyst for change — from reducing homelessness and food insecurity to increasing population health, education, training and workforce development, and improving public safety.

“Community is our focus. Health is our mission. Resilience is the ultimate outcome we want to achieve,” explains Kenya T. Boswell, senior vice president of Community Affairs for Highmark Health. “If we are successful, the individuals and communities that we serve will have the tools and resources to weather the inevitable storms in life.”

Making an Impact

Highmark’s support of the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network mid-city transformation could have a profound impact in northwest Pennsylvania.

According to SSJNN, the rebuilding of

For example, city planning surveys show an overwhelming number of residents living in structures which are in poor condition, the majority of which are rental units. “Our Genesis program has been preparing families for homeownership for more than a decade,” says Caspar. “We provide quality rentals at below-market rent to anyone who dreams of homeownership.”

As part of the Genesis program, a homeownership preparation period teaches participants how to budget and pay bills; repair credit; save toward a downpayment; get bank approval and work with a mortgage loan officer; and, how to maintain their home after purchase. Each month, a portion of the family’s rent is placed into an escrow account. If the family buys a home within SSJNN’s service area, they are eligible for a grant equal to the amount escrowed, for use toward closing costs. So far, 30 families have participated in the housing program since its beginning. However, not all decide that homeownership is for them. Eleven families have graduated from the program and purchased homes. Five of those families have purchased homes in the SSJNN’s service area.

“This program is successful because we move tenants along a continuum that builds their knowledge and confidence to own their first home. Our participants are Adult Learners who are supported and championed along the

way toward the goal of owning their own home,” explains SSJNN Housing Programs Director Colleen Burbules. “We provide a timetable that allows them to learn at their own pace and understand why they are making sacrifices to put themselves and their families in a better long-term situation.”

For Highmark Health and its affiliates, the potential for a brighter future is well worth the investment. “We all look at this as part of our mission and our social responsibility in the community,” says Boswell of the neighborhood transformation. “This is our localized approach to make sure that we can create measurable change together.” To learn more about Highmark Bright Blue Futures, visit brightbluefutures.

One of America’s leading health insurance organizations and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Highmark Inc. (the Health Plan) and its affiliated health plans (collectively, the Health Plans) work passionately to deliver high-quality, accessible, understandable, and affordable experiences, outcomes, and solutions to customers. Highmark Inc. and its Blue-branded affiliates proudly cover the insurance needs of approximately 7 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and West Virginia. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance and other related businesses. For more information, visit

The Pradhans are proud first-time homeowners in Erie’s historic Little Italy neighborhood. Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network Executive Director Heather May Caspar (right) and Sister Phyllis Hilbert, SSJ, hold a donation check for the mid-city revitalization efforts, which Highmark has contributed to as part of its Highmark Bright Blue Futures program.
“If we are successful, the individuals and communities that we serve will have the tools and resources to weather the inevitable storms in life.”
15 OCTOBER 2023
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. All references to “Highmark” in this document are references to the Highmark company that is providing the member’s health benefits or health benefit administration and/or to one or more of its affiliated Blue companies.
Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. Erie | North East | Pittsburgh | Jamestown, NY 814-459-2800 | If you are seeking legal services, we should have a conversation about: • How we strive to achieve each client’s objectives • How we invest in our people • How we are thought leaders • How we are innovators • How our firm has grown to a diverse staff of over 90 • How we’ve been recognized nationally • How we serve our communities • How we have worldwide capacity Let’s talk. Call us at 814-459-2800. Or visit to learn more. LET’S TALK STRONG YEARS

Insurance is complicated… do one segment and do it well!

With an illustrious 90-year history, nestled in the heart of Erie, Pennsylvania, Insurance Management Company (IMC) is a fourth-generation, family owned insurance agency serving the commercial insurance and risk management needs of their client’s operations that span across 29 states and 31 countries.

What truly sets IMC apart. IMC’s meticulous, team-oriented thought leadership and customized approach allows it to dive deeper into clients’ businesses to truly understand their risks and emerging liabilities in order to provide insight to help clients overcome every-day challenges. Technical ability and unwavering attention to detail “as students of the business” in their field has elevated IMC above the typical insurance agent/broker. With access to many of the most senior executives of national insurers, IMC has been able to negotiate insurance policy terms that have had industry-wide effect.

Educating the client is at the core of IMC’s philosophy. Aiming to make the complex issues simple for the buyer to understand what they are buying is important. They emphasize not to get lured into price-shopping as insurance policies are complex legal contracts and uninformed decisions can lead to financial ruin. With a profound understanding of insurance contracts and forms, IMC champions clients’ interests by seeking options available to you.

IMC earns clients’ trust every day by providing deep, practical risk solutions, great service, and acting with unyielding integrity; out executing, holding it to a different standard. IMC is committed to making sure the clients are beyond just being confident that they made the right choice in working with Insurance Management Company. Their goal is to be looked upon as an asset to your organization. Some new client testimonials showcase IMC’s transformative impact, there is a reason why their clients pick them and why they stay…

“John, I must apologize to you. I never knew things could be this different...I should have moved to you years ago.”

“The work your team did for us did not go unnoticed. It is truly appreciated, and we are delighted this program is back on track. Looking forward to a long relationship with IMC. Thanks!!”

“All of these years I never really understood what I was buying. The time you took to understand our business and the detailed and understandable way you presented the insurance brings me comfort...should have moved years ago.”

IMC treats every insurance renewal as an opportunity, not a mere formality, being judicious and conducting rigorous negotiations to the best of their ability to ensure you get the best outcomes. Integrity, relentless problem-solving, advocacy, and an unwavering focus on clients’ needs define IMC’s approach.

IMC’s dedication extends globally. The company is one of only 18 U.S. members of the Worldwide Broker Network. The world’s largest group of handpicked, independently owned brokerages working together across the globe in over 100 countries to provide a boots-on-the ground approach.

Giving back to the communities they serve. IMC recognizes the insurance business is a service business founded on the premise of helping people. As a core part of its mission, IMC, its associates and the Bloomstine family are dedicted to philanthropic and charitable giving, making it a priority to support not-for-profits and charitable institutions in the communities where their clients reside in terms of both time and money, historically donating over $100,000 annually, amounting to millions over the past 90 years.

Insurance Management Company is more than an insurance agency; it embodies dedication, experience, and integrity.

Rooted in family values and a heritage of excellence, IMC continues to redefine the insurance landscape, empowering clients and leaving a legacy of trust, education, and innovation that makes them unique.

Give us a call or drop us a line for an in-person meeting.

“We bring peace of mind. It’s our value proposition.”
123 West 9th Street, Erie, PA 16501 | 814-452-3200 | | INSURANCE AGENTS 17 OCTOBER 2023
The Bloomstine family (from left) — Joe, Peter, John, Will and Jack — has owned and operated Insurance Management Company for 90 years.

The right

answers from the right lawyers.

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Business moves fast, and you need answers quickly. At MacDonald Illig, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with excellent communication, timeliness in responses, and the highest-quality work product, advocacy, and legal advice. As a client, you can expect our full commitment on every matter, and our pledge that we will work tirelessly on your behalf.


AN AMERICAN HERO Ambassador “Sully” Sullenberger Shares His Views of True Leadership

Ambassador C.B. “Sully Sullenberger will deliver the keynote address at the Manufacturer & Business Association’s 118th Annual Event on October 11 in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Ambassador “Sully” Sullenberger is an American hero.

After logging more than 20,000 hours of flight time, Sullenberger became internationally renowned on January 15, 2009, when he, as captain, and his First Officer Jeff Skiles safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to the emergency water landing in the Hudson River in New York, saving all 155 people on board. The Airbus A320’s two engines had lost thrust following a bird strike.

Sullenberger, Skiles and their crew received international acclaim for their actions that day, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery. Sullenberger was ranked second in TIME’s “Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009” and was awarded the French Legion of Honour.

Sullenberger became the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author of Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters and also wrote Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America’s Leaders. Clint Eastwood directed the major motion picture about Sullenberger’s life, titled “SULLY,” based on Highest Duty. The film was released to critical acclaim in September 2016 and garnered four Broadcast Film Critics nominations and one Academy Award nomination. Highest Duty was republished that year as SULLY: My Search for What Really Matters

Sullenberger has a long history of service. As pilot and diplomat over his more than 40-year career, Sullenberger has dedicated his life to flight and flight safety. Most recently, Sullenberger served as the U.S. ambassador and representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations Specialized Agency, in Montréal, Québec, Canada. He was nominated to the position by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2021. He served in the post in 2022.

He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He advanced to become a flight leader and a training officer, attaining the rank of captain. During his active duty, he was stationed in North America and Europe. After serving in the Air Force, in February 1980, he became an airline pilot with Pacific Southwest Airlines, later acquired by US Airways, until his retirement from commercial flying in March 2010.

Sullenberger is a native of Denison, Texas, and pursued his childhood love of aviation by learning to fly at age 16, while still in high school. At his graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1973, he received the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award. In addition to his bachelor’s degree in psychology, he also has two master’s degrees, one in industrial psychology from Purdue University and one in public administration from the University of Northern Colorado. He also has an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Purdue University. 

23 OCTOBER 2023
“I remember how sudden it was, how shocking it was. I knew it immediately, as soon as it began to happen, that this was going to be the challenge of a lifetime.”
— Ambassador “Sully” Sullenberger, reflecting on the “Miracle on the Hudson”
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On October 11, Sullenberger, a widely sought-after speaker, will deliver the keynote address at the Manufacturer & Business Association’s 118th Annual Event at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, sharing his unique perspective on leadership and crisis management. In this exclusive interview with the MBA Business Magazine, he discusses that momentous flight in 2009, leadership and what others can learn from his experience.

Editor’s note: The following interview has been edited for space.

When you reflect on the “Miracle on the Hudson,” what goes through your mind when you replay that day and those critical 208 seconds that put your entire career and 155 lives on the line?

I remember how sudden it was, how shocking it was. I knew it immediately, as soon as it began to happen, that this was going to be the challenge of a lifetime. There’s no checklist for this, so the outcome that my crew and I, and all the first responders and everybody involved, was able to achieve was really better than could have been expected under those circumstances. We had an extraordinarily good outcome from a very sudden crisis, at such a low altitude over such a densely populated area, but so few options. Everything had to go right in important ways, and it did.

I’m even more appreciative in hindsight today because I’ve realized that this group of strangers — my crew on the airplane and first responders — all came together. They rose to the occasion and made it their mission to save every life… .

Had even one person not survived, I would’ve considered it a tragic failure.

That January 15, 2009, flight was a defining moment in your career but also an example of true leadership. What did you learn about yourself and your crew from that experience?

I think it’s that I had such a clear paradigm in my mind that was immediately accessible to me. Over a 40year career (at that point, 42 years), I had developed a mindset about how to solve any problem in an airplane, how to set priorities, how to manage the workload, how to avoid distractions, how to distill the problem down to its essential essence… .

We saw the birds right before we hit them, but not enough time to avoid them, so I knew what the cause was. I knew what the effect was. I didn’t have to spend a lot of time saying, “What was that? What happened? What should we do about it?”

I was able to go right into “how do I fix this mode,” and that saved precious seconds when we had only a few minutes, until I knew that our flight path — gliding downhill with no engine thrust — was going to intersect the surface of the Earth. I had to find the best place for that to happen, and the best way for that to happen in a very short order.

What do you hope that our members learn from the leadership and teamwork of you and your crew that day?

Safety is not a destination; it’s a journey — a continuous never-ending journey to improve, to learn from your experiences. That’s the mindset that safety professionals must have. When you do, especially for repetitive things that become routine, you must remind yourself to be vigilant and avoid complacency, because you never know when or even if this sudden challenge is going to appear. You don’t know when this routine/evolution is going to surprise you, and you’re going to need to respond quickly and correctly. I think that’s a big part of the mindset — to really avoid complacency, never knowing what your challenges are going to be on that day, on that shift... .

It is largely experience that arms us with the critically important judgment that we must have to make decisions that will save lives. I also think we must push ourselves to grow — to be more complete, better versions of ourselves.

One of the things that I know for sure is that the surest way to fail is not to try — and so not to be afraid, to go out and beyond your comfort zone to improve.

You, First Officer Skiles and the rest of the crew received international acclaim for your heroic actions. However, you each had to trust in each other to know what to do. How did you build trust and inspire confidence in your crew?

It turns out that my reputation was built one interaction, one person, one day at a time. I think that’s not just our reputations, but our ability to work together as a team… . 

25 OCTOBER 2023

The big challenge at a big airline these days is that we fly all the time with people we’ve never met before, complete strangers. One of the things I used to teach in our crew resource management (CRM) program — that I helped to develop at the airline and then teach to all our airline colleagues — was when you meet your crew for the first time, the captain must set the tone for everything to follow, to create an environment, a culture.

You, the captain, are absolutely/directly responsible for the safety of everyone on that airplane, and the captain sets the tone for everything that’s going to happen. So, when you make the introductions, you meet your crew, you make yourself approachable, you flatten the hierarchy to a more appropriate level so that the most junior, the youngest flight attendant, can approach a senior captain, about a safety issue and know that he or she will be heard, and that the issue will be dealt with effectively in a timely fashion. You align goals. You create among the crew, the team, a shared sense of responsibility for the outcome. The captain’s ultimately in charge, but everyone involved has a hand in this. You make it psychologically safe for them to speak up. You make it about what is right and not who is right, and so those are the kinds of critical interpersonal skills that we used to teach and that we all deeply internalized.

Could you give us an example?

You look at the cockpit voice recorder transcript that’s in the appendix in my first book (and at in the Flight 1549 accident report), and you see from the cockpit voice recorder transcript that right before the landing, I asked Jeff Skiles a question: “Got any ideas?” Some think that’s a flippant remark, but it’s just an indication of how deeply internalized those CRM, those team building skills, are with me.

I was saying, “OK, I’ve done everything I can think of that would help us even a little bit. Is there anything else, Jeff, that we can do that would help us be more successful, even by a fraction?” His answer was, “Actually, not” — not because he was being insouciant or didn’t care, but because he knew at that point that we had done all we could.

That’s just one indication of how we, to the very end, were trying to do everything we could to save every life. Is there any other step we can take, any other

action we could take that would help us to be more successful? To never give up. That’s the mindset that we used to teach and that we had on this flight.

What do you believe are some of the best strategies to employ to make difficult decisions under pressure?

I’ve talked about handling pressure with Tony La Russa. He’s the third winningest baseball manager in history. We discussed these concepts and how he teaches his batters is very similar to what we teach pilots.

You really have to have done the hard work, attained the skills and the knowledge, but then you need practice. You need that exposure. The more times you’re at bat and the more different pitchers you’ve seen, whatever kind of pitches they throw, you have to have done the hard work so you’re ready for whatever comes.

It’s that kind of preparation, exposure and practice. He called it the PEP system. Those are key to being ready when your moment comes, even if you never know when you’re up.

Obviously, you had extensive flight experience and training coming into that flight, but the human factor certainly played a role in your decision making. How would you describe your decision making at that moment?

That decision-making process was a visual/conceptual decision-making process. I had flown to New York many times, and I knew the lay of the land. I knew there were only three options, so it wasn’t that I had time to think about each of these multitude of individual factors, but they were in the back of my mind. They helped me frame this decision. There were two runways that we might be able to reach; it turned out we didn’t have enough altitude or air speed, enough total energy to go as far as back to LaGuardia or across the river in New Jersey to Teterboro. I knew the only other place that was long enough, wide enough, smooth enough, free of obstacles enough, even to attempt landing a large, heavy, fast jet airliner was the Hudson River.

I figured early on we would probably end up in the river, but I knew I had to consider at least trying to reach a runway, but it turned out we couldn’t.

 27 OCTOBER 2023

Then what?

I’d never landed in a river before, but I knew that descending, without thrust, descending rapidly, I’d have to start raising the nose, beginning the landing earlier at a higher altitude than normal to have time to raise the nose and reduce our rate of descent before we hit the water. I really had a good image in my mind of what I needed to do; it was just a matter of being focused and doing it… .

I never thought I was going to die that day. Never. I knew that even though I’d never trained for this; there wasn’t a checklist for this. I’d never anticipated this situation, but I knew that I could find a way to solve this problem…

You were confident?

I was confident that I could do this and that confidence was stronger than any fear or concern. Courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s doing your job in spite of it. I was very confident I could do this, and I think that was a big part of my mindset that day.

What I was not as sure of once we landed: How quick would the rescue be? I knew that landing right between the ferry terminals between New York and New Jersey was the only place on the river where the rescue could happen on such a cold day… .

Even after we landed, the job wasn’t done until we were rescued. I was very concerned until that night when I finally got word that everyone had been accounted for — passengers and crew — that everyone had survived. Only then could I feel any sense of relief.

We recognize that flight simulators/computers can fail to account for the human factor in decision making. In the age of artificial intelligence (AI), what are your thoughts on AI when it comes to flight safety and the future of flight?

Humans should be, ultimately, in charge of every process, but I think AI could be helpful when it’s used appropriately. One of the most important things it could do is take huge amounts of data that humans just can’t compute and make recommendations or give us options. I think that would be one way that it could help.

It was your split-decision making that saved 155 lives.

It was my humanity that saved 155 lives. Technology, as good as it’s become can only do what has been foreseen and for which it has been programmed as of now. What technology cannot feel is duty; only pilots can feel and act on a sense of duty to save every life. I think that’s a critically important difference.

Long before January 15, 2009, you established yourself as a distinguished pilot and safety expert. Who or what inspired you most growing up to pursue this lifelong career?

The pilot is unknown to me, but whose jet airplane I saw flying over our home in Texas from the nearby Air Force base daily. I just thought that is the coolest thing ever, and I still feel that same sense of wonder about flight. I haven’t lost my fascination with it.

That’s also part of what makes me who I am and makes me good at what I do. It’s a lot of fun being particularly good at something that’s difficult to do well. When I saw those jets, I thought, “Well, I could do that. I would love to spend my life doing that and being free from the bounds of Earth.”

Going just a few thousand feet above the Earth, your perspective completely changes. Everything on the ground seems small like a toy, and it’s a sense of freedom to not be bound to the surface. It’s a sense of mastery to have the knowledge, skill, experience and judgment to be the absolute master of the airplane — and all the systems and the situations you’re facing and the environmental conditions you’re being challenged with at that moment. That mastery and that freedom are still the things I think about when I think of flight.

Describe your leadership approach — military, your commercial career and respected role as an ambassador.

They’re all different flavors of the same sauce. It’s ultimately about having a clear vision and then sharing that with others in a way that’s effective.

If you do that and tell people that, then it’s almost impossible to fail. If you do that in a genuine way, if you walk the walk and not just talk the talk, and if through your personal leadership, leadership by example, you model for them the behavior you want

 29 OCTOBER 2023
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them to have, you make your values apparent. It’s not because you’ve told them or not because you have a poster on the wall or a sign on your desk, but because they can see it. If they spend enough time around you and they pay attention, they’ll know everything about you that they need to know. They’ll know what your values are because you live them. I think that is one of the best things any of us can do in any domain.

You’re talking about being true to your values. What kind of qualities do you believe are essential for effective leadership?

Humanity. Treating people with respect. Creating an environment of mutual respect is one of the most important things you can do, and then trusting them enough to tell the truth. Give them the hard truth that they must hear, not just what you think they want to hear. That’ll also help motivate them to help fix the problem whatever it is.

In your opinion, how do you approach the balance between risk-taking and ensuring safety and how it relates to leadership?

That’s where we come back to experience again. It’s this fine balance between confidence and caution. You must have the knowledge, skill, experience and judgment to have the confidence that you can do the job… .

Being a pilot is being an effective risk manager, proactively making decisions and stacking the deck in your favor, taking sufficient fuel reserve to allow for contingencies, checking the weather at several alternate airports, changing to a different runway to land into the wind, instead of having a tailwind that’s going to give you a higher ground speed. It’s all the hundreds of decisions you make that, in aggregate, make the flight safer.

Let’s talk about your management principles and credo of “leadership by personal example.” How have they helped you achieve success?

The United States has traditionally been a leader on the ICAO Council, but there are a lot of other countries around the world with their own perspectives, their own ways of life, their own forms of government, and their own needs.

One of the things that the United States must do is as every new ambassador goes up, they must reassert U.S. leadership on the ICAO Council. The way you do that is through personal diplomacy — one other ambassador at a time, inviting them to coffee, having conversations, showing them rather than telling them what’s important to you and how we can work together, finding the one thing that we can agree on. Having success with that brings you just one step closer to having success on the next thing.

When I was on the ICAO Council and a contentious issue would come up, in that next council meeting, I pushed the button on my desk to notify the council president that I wanted to be the first one to speak. By being the first one to speak, I had a chance to set the tone or at least start the dialogue and say what my vision, what the United States vision was about that airspace, about how it had to work and what was in it for everyone else involved, and we were successful.

How would you describe the importance of continuous learning in leadership and career success?

I have had an amazing life. I’ve taken advantage of opportunities, but it’s also because I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid to learn. I’m not afraid to make a mistake. I’m willing to do the hard work to learn. It was hard to be good as an ambassador, but I quickly became good. It’s like anything else, once you get to a certain level and you’ve gotten better at it, then you enjoy it more. It’s not as hard; it’s not as threatening… . Having gone through the process of becoming nominated by President Biden to be the United States ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization, it’s amazing what you can learn to do if you put your mind to it.

What advice would you give to others facing adversity?

There’s always one more thing you can try. There’s always one more thing you can do. You’re not done until you quit.

31 OCTOBER 2023

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A hard decision, made easy.

In early August 2020, Jim Hellyer completed a half-marathon and was feeling better than he’d felt in years. Three weeks later everything changed, his stool turned gray and his skin turned yellow. He called his doctor, who sent him to the emergency room at AHN Saint Vincent Hospital. “That’s when they found the masses on my liver, spleen, and kidney,” Jim said.

A biopsy revealed high-grade, large B-cell, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Jim considered seeking treatment in either Bu alo, Cleveland, or Pittsburgh. “But my primary care provider (PCP) Dr. Brad Fox recommended The AHN Cancer Institute at Saint Vincent Hospital. It’s state-ofthe-art, they have good people, and it’s close to home,” Jim said. “After that, it wasn’t a hard decision. I trust Dr. Fox. And my gut said not having to travel for care was the right thing to do.”

Days later, Jim met with his new AHN cancer doctor to discuss which chemotherapy treatment plan would be best. Because his cancer was very aggressive, the recommendation was an equally aggressive chemotherapy regimen called EPOCH-R. It’s a four-drug infusion, plus a monoclonal antibody, that’s given in the hospital over the course of six rounds, in one-week-on and two-weeks-o intervals.

Jim felt weak at the beginning of his chemotherapy, but by the third round, he started to perk up. That’s when he started walking. “I couldn’t leave the eighth floor, so I did laps around it. The pole with my infusion bag was my constant companion. I called it Long Tall Rita,” he said.

Before long, Jim was walking four miles a day. “When Rebecca, my nurse navigator, saw how much I was walking, she gave me a Captain America t-shirt.” By the time he had his last treatment on January 19, 2021, he’d logged 60 miles. “I’d basically done two marathons on the floors of AHN Saint Vincent. My nurses said they didn’t think anyone else had ever done that.”

With his treatment behind him and his cancer in remission, Jim worked his way back to running as soon as he could. “I completed Beast on the Bay in September, and a half-marathon at Presque Isle State Park in early November,” he said. “The same year I rang the bell.”

Jim recently had the honor of speaking at AHN Saint Vincent’s 2023 Gala to benefit the AHN Cancer Institute. “It was good for me to tell my story,” Jim said. “Staying local was probably the best thing I ever did. It literally saved my life.”

“Staying local was probably the best thing I ever did. It literally saved my life.”
Jim Hellyer

What’s new at the AHN Cancer Institute here in Erie.

At the AHN Cancer Institute at Saint Vincent Hospital, we’re currently in the middle of expanding our space and adding new technology to enhance the quality of cancer care we’re able to provide.


The construction of our second LINAC vault should be finished late summer 2023. The LINAC is the device we use for external beam radiation treatments for patients with cancer. It delivers high-energy X-rays or electrons to the region of the patient’s tumor. Having two LINACs means we’ll be able to better accommodate patient’s schedules, start treatment regimens more quickly, and ensure little-to-no disruption once treatment starts.


The AHN Cancer Center o ers LDR brachytherapy treatment for prostate cancer patients. LDR allows for higher doses of radiation to be administered directly to the tumor site. This localized treatment means fewer side e ects because less normal, healthy tissue is receiving radiation. LDR brachytherapy may also be applied after surgery to help prevent recurrence of cancer.


We use Brainlab®* equipment to provide sub-millimeter accuracy for radiosurgery and radiotherapy for tumors of the brain and spine. Our new upgrades will allow us to use service-guided and thermal imaging (or X-ray tracking) for greater monitoring accuracy and precision during treatment.

*Brainlab is a registered trademark to Brainlab AG.


We now o er integrative therapies such as aromatherapy, breathing techniques and meditation, hand and foot massage, and seated yoga to help patients manage their symptoms and wellness.


Dr. Marcus is excited to be part of AHN Saint Vincent’s ongoing e orts to expand the services available here in Erie. She looks forward to bringing her clinical and research expertise to Erie and having the opportunity to establish long-standing relationships with her patients and their families. “The entire cancer center team has pushed toward expanding the capabilities and level of care available to the community. So you can get the same level and quality of care available in Pittsburgh or Rochester right here with your family support system nearby.”

speak to our cancer center for an appointment
information, call
814) 452-HOPE or visit
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Humble Beginnings

Logistics Plus (LP) was founded in late 1996 and recently celebrated its 27th anniversary. This Erie-based company has come a long way from its humble origin as a three-person operation supporting vendor routings for GE Transportation. Today, Logistics Plus is considered a global supply chain and technology solutions company with over $500 million in annual sales and more than 1,200 employees located in 50-plus countries worldwide.

Passion For Excellence

“I always say Logistics is in our DNA,” says Jim Berlin. “When I created Logistics Plus twenty-seven years ago, I wanted LP to be the company with a passion for excellence and to put the ‘plus’ in logistics. We’ve always seen ourselves as a global solutions provider, taking us in newer and newer directions. So, the 27 years have rolled by pretty quickly.”


Global Growth for 27+ Years

Some of those new directions include big investments in warehousing and fulfillment over the past few years. In addition to acquiring multiple facilities in and around Erie, including the TimesNews building in 2020, LP has expanded warehousing operations in Southern California, Chicago, Charlotte, and Phoenix. It now has over 5 million square feet just in the U.S. alone.

Technology has also been a significant investment area as the company routinely develops custom TMS, WMS, and business intelligence (BI) solutions for its clients.

Global Growth

In addition to its growth and expansion in Erie and the United States, Logistics Plus has been actively building out its global footprint and capabilities. Logistics Plus has been a strong advocate for support and rebuilding efforts in Ukraine since the war began.

Last July, LP doubled-down on that commitment by purchasing ConcordTrans, a Ukrainian-based freight forwarding and logistics company with offices in Kyiv and Odesa. It also expanded its neighboring Poland operations and opened a new warehouse there to support ongoing relief efforts in the region. The company now has over 100 employees across Ukraine and Poland alone.

“Logistics is critically important to rebuilding infrastructure in Ukraine,” says Yuriy Ostapyak, a Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen. “Our goal is to create a platform for U.S. and Western businesses to be able to invest and operate in Ukraine, now and after the war finally ends.”

Earlier this year, LP acquired Jan Krediet, a leading European logistics service provider in the furniture, kitchens, project furnishing, forwarding, warehousing, and valueadded services segments, with over 200 employees at offices and warehouses in the Netherlands.

“As longtime partners, we knew this company and its people very well,” says Yuriy. “We wanted more of a presence in Europe, and the cultural fit made Jan Krediet a natural choice for us.”

In addition to its European expansion, LP has opened new offices in Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

One thing is sure: Western PA is lucky to have a cool, global company like Logistics Plus as its home as it pursues its mission of humbly conquering the world from Erie.

Jim Berlin Founder & CEO Yuriy Ostapyak Chief Operating Officer
Logistics Plus, Inc. 1406 Peach Street Erie, PA 16501 Toll-Free: 866.564.7587 Phone: 814.461.7600
Earlier this year, Logistics Plus acquired Jan Krediet, a leading logistics company based in the Netherlands. Berlin still jokes that Homer Simpson is the chairman of LP. Logistics Plus continues to expand its operations in Erie and around the world. The company now has over 8 million square feet of global warehousing.
37 OCTOBER 2023





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In a rapidly evolving world driven by technological advancements, introducing students to manufacturing careers and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education is not just a choice, but a necessity. Nurturing young minds with a solid foundation in these fields helps empower the next generation to shape the future, drive innovation and contribute to a thriving economy. In northwest Pennsylvania, Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) is one of the most dynamic ways to introduce students to the importance of manufacturing and manufacturing careers. And, this year, the celebration — one of the largest in the United States — is marking its 10th anniversary.

It all began in 2014 when the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) joined in the nationwide MFG Day celebration by hosting the premiere of the “American Made Movie” at the MBA Conference Center in Erie. In 2015, the event grew into its current exhibit-pep

rally format and was moved to the Bayfront Convention Center. It has been held there ever since, growing in offerings and attendance, drawing more than 2,000 students, educators and business leaders each year thanks to the MBA, its partners Tami Adams, NWPA NTMA; Jennifer Pontzer, Career Street; Kelly Hess, Harborcreek School District; and Eileen Mullen, Crawford County K-12 Career Education Alliance; as well as numerous sponsors and exhibitors.

“We are so proud of how MFG Day has evolved over the past decade,” says MBA President and CEO Lori Joint. “It is a oneof-a-kind event and one of the most highly anticipated programs for technical and vocational education and a major asset to manufacturers and supporting industries in our region. Introducing students to manufacturing allows many to consider career pathways they may have never considered before.”

“Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, MFG Day has long enabled AirBorn

to showcase the digitization of its manufacturing,” adds Jen Nelson, senior vice president of Supply Chain for AirBorn, a major sponsor of the event. “Additionally, it calls attention to our evolving and increasingly high-tech careers. Often, it’s the first time students give serious consideration to a career that’s waiting for them right here in northwest Pennsylvania.”


Early exposure to manufacturing careers and STEM education offers a plethora of benefits to children. It ignites students’ curiosity, cultivates problem-solving skills and encourages critical thinking. As students engage with experiential learning, they develop a deeper understanding of real-world applications. MFG Day offers these types of opportunities by showcasing more than 50 exhibits, programs and demonstrations, designed for students to experience innovative manufacturing

40 OCTOBER 2023 •

technology in a hands-on, interactive environment plus educational breakout sessions throughout the morning.

“Everything about MFG Day is meant to give students the chance to engage and learn,” says Joint. “Gaining a better understanding of modern manufacturing outside the classroom is critical to their education.”


The job landscape is rapidly evolving, with technology playing a pivotal role in reshaping industries.

“By introducing students to manufacturing careers and STEM education, we prepare them for the jobs of the future,” says Joint. “Automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and data analytics are becoming increasingly integral to these fields. Equipping students with foundational STEM skills ensures that they are adaptable

and ready to embrace emerging technologies.”

In addition, STEM education and manufacturing careers revolve around problem-solving. From finding solutions to engineering challenges to optimizing production processes, critical thinking is at the core of success in these areas.

“When students are introduced to these skills early on, they develop a problemsolving mindset that transcends the classroom,” explains Joint. “This mindset equips them to tackle any obstacle with confidence and resilience, qualities that serve them well in any career path.”

Students also gain a better understanding of collaboration and teamwork. Involving students in interactive activities cultivates their ability to work effectively with others. 

OCTOBER 11, 2023

41 OCTOBER 2023

Electronics Design & Manufacturing Expertise in our Expanded Lake City Facility!

Founded in 1958, AirBorn began manufacturing electronic connectors for the military and aerospace industries. Since then, AirBorn parts were designed into the Voyager I and II probes, lunar modules, space shuttles, and Mars rovers just to name a few famous programs. Today, AirBorn’s core business is engineering, manufacturing, and testing interconnects and electronic components for customers across industries including aerospace, defense, medical, industrial, and space exploration.

As an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) company, AirBorn’s employees express a distinct “pride-of-ownership”. Our teams enjoy the direct stake in making AirBorn a best-in-class operation from initial consultations to product shipment.

We’re always interested in growing our Lake City team — apply today for day and night shifts at

AirBorn Inc. • 2700 Mechanic Street Lake City, PA 16423 • 814.877.5658

“Our games and challenges, for example, have given students the chance to test their knowledge and skills,” said Joint, “and that’s something those in manufacturing do every day.”

Through MFG Day, students are not only exposed to manufacturing careers, but also can see STEM education as an investment in their future.

“By connecting classroom knowledge to the real world,” says Joint, “we are paving the way for a generation that is not only academically prepared but also equipped with the skills necessary to shape a brighter tomorrow.” 


One of the hallmarks of MFG Day is the recognition of the 2023 Patrick R. Locco Scholarship winners.

This year, the winners from the five area vocation/technical schools each receiving a $1,000 scholarship are:

• Carter Linden of the Corry Area Career & Technical Center, who plans to attend college or electrical apprenticeship program to become a residential electrician and some day own his own business.

• Madyson Banik of the Crawford County Career & Technical Center, who plans on attending The Western Central Pennsylvania Electricians Training Center to earn her Journeyman Electrician License.

• Calvin Smith of the Erie County Technical School, who plans to attend college for a degree in Marketing/Sales, Manufacturing Business in hopes of managing or owning his own business.

• Elijah Hardner of Erie High School, who plans to attend Penn State Behrend for engineering.

• Michael Kovach of the Mercer County Career Center, who plans to attend Youngstown State University for engineering or electrical work.

The winning students were nominated along with:

Evan Hajec, Jordon Huffman, Jonathan Griffis and Maximus Sell of the Corry Area Career & Technical Center; Dorian Doubet, Jacob Graham, Jacob LeSuer and Parker Schmidt of the Crawford County Career & Technical Center; Thomas Baumann, Isaac Glover, Connor Bille and Kayla Klimek of the Erie County Technical School; Azath Siwakoti and Leelynn Toth of Erie High School; and, Peter Plummer and Savannah Thurber of the Mercer County Career Center.

The Locco Awards, which are named in honor of the late Association Vice President Patrick R. Locco, a strong advocate of vocational education, were created in 1972 (then known as the Golden Watch Awards) with the sole purpose to recognize outstanding high school students who distinguish themselves in the pursuit of technical and academic excellence.

To be considered for this prestigious honor, students must apply and be nominated by a teacher. Each school then narrows the nominees to their top candidates. Students are then interviewed by local businesspeople who ultimately choose the winners.

Students talk with representatives of AirBorn, major sponsor of MFG Day,
43 OCTOBER 2023


The Manufacturer & Business Association is proud to recognize the supporters of MFG Day 2023 on October 11 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie! More than 2,000 students, educators and business community leaders will be on hand to experience the best of modern manufacturing and manufacturing careers in northwest Pennsylvania. Learn more at

Address: 2700 Mechanic Street, Lake City, PA 16423

Phone: 814/774-5658


AirBorn is an employee-owned company whose core business is engineering and manufacturing specialized connectors and electronic components for OEMs in the mil-aero, commercial air, space, medical and industrial markets.

Address: 7626 Klier Drive, Fairview, PA 16415

Phone: 814/474-4200


Specializes in contract precision machining of high-volume complex parts for the automotive, agricultural and defense industries.

Address: 1901 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15209

Phone: 412/821-2703


A proud Pennsylvania manufacturer of precision springs since 1939, Diamond continues to hold fast to its founding principles of providing quality custom and stock springs with a strong emphasis on personalized customer service.

Address: 109 University Sq., Erie, PA 16541

Phone: 814/871-7407


Gannon University is a Catholic, Diocesan University dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, the University offers a comprehensive learning experience that emphasizes faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility.

Address: 1800 Pennsylvania Avenue W, Warren, PA 16365

Phone: 814/723-1250


Industry-leading manufacturer of critical components and lighting systems for the tank truck industry, worldwide.

Address: 2700 Mechanic Street, Lake City, PA 16423

Address: 1 Front Street, Irvine, PA 16329

Phone: 866/523-6743


ELLWOOD National Forge is a leader in forging, heavy machining and project management of products for defense, oil & gas, power generation, and heavy industrial markets. With in-house estimating, engineering, metallurgy and project management, ELLWOOD National Forge has a unique ability to manage complex projects throughout the entire melting, forging, and finish machining processes.

Address: 1521 Enterprise Road, Corry, PA 16407

Phone: 814/734-7303


GLM is a manufacturer of UL-Listed enclosures that protect control panels and IT equipment for broadband, telecom, and industrial applications: enclosures are available in multiple NEMA ratings for harsh indoor and outdoor environments.

Address: 22 Ore Dock Road, Erie, PA 16507

Phone: 814/480-8553


Carmeuse is one of the area’s leading suppliers of limestone and mineralbased products used in industrial, construction and soil improvement applications. Supporting Erie’s cargo needs for many local and regional projects, it is committed to Safety, Environment, and People. Carmeuse and its subsidiaries employ 2,500 families across four continents.

Address: 1306 S. Main Street, Meadville, PA 16335

Phone: 814/337-9200


Founded in 1886, Channellock, Inc. is a worldwide leader in the manufacture of high-quality pliers and assorted hand tools. Family owned and operated, Channellock, Inc. has more than 4,000 U.S. wholesale and retail customers and ships to customers in 45 countries.

Address: 2200 Asbury Road, Erie, PA 16506

Phone: 814/835-6000


Eriez manufactures separation technologies and markets its products through 12 facilities on six continents. From the food industry to coal mining, Eriez solves complex problems through uniquely engineered solutions.

Address: 2700 Mechanic Street, Lake City, PA 16423

Address: 1010 US–19, Waterford, PA 16441

Phone: 814/679-3129


Humes Chrysler Jeep Dodge & Ram dealership is now celebrating its 76th year as a local, family owned business with over 70 employees, making it one of the largest volume dealerships in the entire tri-state region. The key to the company’s success is its competitiveness and team’s ongoing commitment to satisfy its customers, many of whom are employed by NWPA manufacturers.

Address: 1717 East 12th Street, Erie, PA 16511

Phone: 814/452-2281


Curtze is a broadline food service distributor offering a unique center of the plate program, which includes portion control fresh meat in a custom cutting federally inspected meat facility, as well as a custom cut fresh seafood program.

Address: 1851 Rudolph Avenue, Erie, PA 16502

Phone: 814/456-7001


Erie Strayer Company, family owned since 1912, is a fourth generation industry leader in the designing, engineering and manufacturing of concrete batch plants. From custom ready-mix plants to highly mobile paving plants, ERIE’s rugged quality and timely after-sale support remain key to its success. ERIE also manufactures its own heavy-duty Tilt Drum Mixer, Liberty Computer Control Batching System and state of the art PLC-Based Automatic Material Handling Controls. The company remains under the direction of the Strayer family as it has for the last century. Kyle F. Strayer, great-grandson of the founder, is the President/CEO.

Address: 2909 West 12th Street

Erie, PA 16505

Phone: 814/833-9876


Industrial Sales & Mfg. (ISM) is a premier contract manufacturer and supplier of quality machined, fabricated and assembled components for OEMs. With advanced technology and highly skilled employees, ISM can produce a range of components and assemblies ranging from a single prototype to millions, exactly as ordered, on time, every time.

44 OCTOBER 2023 •

Address: 2099 Hill City Road, Seneca, PA 16346

Phone: 814/677-0716


Founded in 1971, Matric has provided world-class Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) for 50 years. The company specializes in high mix/low to high volume contract assembly. Services include Surface Mount & Through-Hole Technology Assembly, Cable & Harness Assembly, Electromechanical Assembly, Aftermarket Services, and Obsolescence Management. Certifications include AS 9100, ISO 9001, ISO 13485, ISO 14001, NADCAP Accredited in Electronics, ITAR, RoHS, and ATEX/Ex Qan compliant, and a HUBZone business. From design to production, throughout a product’s lifecycle, Matric partners with customers to achieve their products’ highest potential.

Address: 1100 State Street, Erie, PA 16501

Phone: 814/871-8200


National Fuel is a diversified energy company that operates an integrated collection of natural gas assets across four business segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Gathering, and Utility.

Address: 8165 Hawthorne Drive, Erie, PA 16509

Phone: 814/868-1656


Address: 3340 Pearl Avenue, Erie, PA 16510

Phone: 814/899-3111


Family owned heavy highway construction company specializing in asphalt paving, excavation, site development, demolition and sanitary/ storm sewer installation work for various state, county, city municipalities, commercial developments and local companies throughout Erie County.

Address: P.O. Box 203, Meadville, PA 16335

Phone: 814/720-0094


NWPA NTMA is a trade association focused on promoting the advancement of excellence in precision custom manufacturing through cooperation between members, educators, associated organizations, and government in the regions served.

Micro Mold, Plastikos & Plastikos Medical specialize in precision custom moldmaking and advanced medical/scientific injection molding. Primary fields of expertise include medication delivery systems, surgical eye care, microfluidic, and electronic connectors –among others.

Address: 100 State Street, Suite 700, Erie, PA 16507

Phone: 814/870-7600


MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton LLP provides sophisticated legal counsel to clients that range from business owners in Erie to major corporations abroad.

Address: One Crawford Street, Saegertown, PA 16433

Phone: 814/763-2655


MacLean-Fogg Saegertown’s location was founded in 1965 and has been a leading supplier of formed products ever since. It joined the MacLeanFogg family in 2008 and is one of North America’s leading cold forging operations, serving a diverse range of industries with high quality net shape and near net shape parts.

Address: 300 2nd Avenue, Suite 500, Warren, PA 16365

Phone: 814/230-9010 or 844/350-7729


NPRC is an affordable Pennsylvania college offering associate degrees and workforce training for students, adult learners and more.

Address: 2455 Robison Road West, Erie, PA 16509

Phone: 814/868-3180


A diversified technology and manufacturing company developing highly reliable adhesives, coatings, motion management devices, and sensing technologies that significantly reduce risk and improve product performance. For more than 90 years, Parker LORD Corporation has worked in collaboration with its customers to provide innovative aerospace, defense, automotive and industrial solutions.

Address: 120 South Lake Street, North East, PA 16428

Phone: 866/479-7225


One of North America’s largest pallet rack and storage rack manufacturers, Ridg-U-Rak designs and manufactures a full array of storage rack solutions.

Address: 1533 East 12th Street, Erie, PA 16511

Phone: 814/459-4495


Manufactures seamless rolled ring forgings in carbon, alloy and stainless steel.

Address: 5404 Evans Road, Erie, PA 16509

Phone: 800-545-7741


FirstEnergy’s 10 regulated distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving 6 million customers in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions by providing customers with safe, reliable and responsive service. Penelec is an electric distribution company that serves nearly 600,000 customers in Pennsylvania.

Address: 1300 Cranberry Street, Erie, PA 16501

Phone: 814/459-4974


Manufacturer of premium quality wieners, sausages, deli meats, bacon and award-winning hams.

Address: 7701 Klier Drive

Fairview, PA 16415

Phone: 814/474-9100


SyBridge Technologies Inc. builds and integrates tooling and mold companies to create a global technological leader that provides value-added design and production solutions across multiple industry verticals.

Address: 15309 Baldwin St. Ext., Meadville, PA 16335, additional locations in Cambridge Springs and Saegertown, PA

Phone: 814/332-8200


Meadville Forging Company is a supplier of parts to the automotive industry. Our capabilities include engineering and design, die-making, forging, heat treating and machining.

Address: 219 Meadville Street, Edinboro, PA 16444

Phone: 814/732-2761


PennWest University has its roots in three sister institutions — California, Clarion and Edinboro. Steeped in a tradition of academic excellence, PennWest offers a rich past and a promising future.

Address: 2901 East Lake Road, Erie, PA 16531


Wabtec is a leading supplier of critical components, locomotives, services, signaling and logistics systems and services to the global rail industry. It is focused on driving ongoing safety, innovation, efficiency, reliability and productivity. With best-in-class manufacturing facilities, unmatched digital expertise, always-on global services delivery, and unrivaled product breadth and performance, Wabtec is the rail industry’s one-stop shop.

Committed to Service since 1946

Address: 4701 College Drive, Erie, PA 16563

Phone: 814/898-6000


Penn State Behrend offers more than 40 degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and associate degree levels; a range of minors and certificates; education and training programs for business, industry, and community organizations; and numerous outreach programs for area youth and adults.

KeepAmericaStrong WELD IT!

Do not print black outline

Address: 1628 Cascade Street, Erie, PA 16502

Phone: 814/454-1563


Northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York’s leader in the supply of medical, industrial gasses and welding supplies to the manufacturing, construction, health care and laboratory industries.

Address: 501 E. 38th Street, Erie, PA 16546

Phone: 814/824-2000


Mercyhurst is a four-year, Catholic, liberal arts university, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1926, offering more than 100 areas of academic study, including 50-plus undergraduate majors and 12 graduate degrees.

A world-class injection molding, rigid plastics processor.

Address: 2425 West 23rd Street, Erie, PA 16506

Phone: 814/878-4400


Specializing in consumer packaging, Plastek is a global supplier for all customers’ plastic needs. Family owned and operated since 1956, and multiple industry award winner, Plastek is an integrated company with capabilities producing high quality custom & stock designs, tool & mold build manufacturing, molding & assembly, and added value services.

Address: 2154 East Lake Road, Erie, PA 16511

Phone: 814/456-6231


Widget Financial is a mutually owned credit union, which specializes in a variety of loans and deposit accounts for consumers and businesses that are geared toward enriching lives in the Erie region.

M acD onal d I ll i g ATTORNEYS
45 OCTOBER 2023

First Choice

Contractors & Construction Managers Since 1906

814.454.7147 |

EE Austin & Son offers a dynamic management team committed to providing construction excellence. Austin is the leading regional general contractor and construction management firm...and has been delivering for its clients since 1906.

EE Austin & Son remains steadfast in its century old promise to... “Do the right thing...all the time.”

It’s the Austin Difference.

Northwest PA & Southwest NY’s Industrial Education • Retail Hospitality • Concrete Institutional • Healthcare


The Prosperity is Possible movement is dedicated to changing economic policies so all Americans can prosper.

Is the government working for you?

We want solutions that:

Lower inflation

Unleash energy abundance

Empower the workforce

Your Life. Your Business. Our Expertise.



Since 1925, Loesel-Schaaf Insurance Agency, Inc. has been an independent multi-line insurance agency, offering a wide array of products and services. Growing to four separate divisions, encompassing just about every insurance need possible, the Agency has become one of the largest “one-stop shops” for businesses and individuals across the tri-state area and beyond.

“Having a professional staff averaging 25 years of insurance industry experience, we effectively solve problems for our clients,” says Doug Loesel, Chairman of the Board. “We have a vast reservoir of knowledge from which to draw and a team approach is often utilized. Someone on staff has most likely tackled just about any challenge and together we can find a solution.”

Employee Benefits



Medicare Options

For your lifestyle and needs Help with your Medicare choices.

Because circumstances change, Loesel-Schaaf offers a complimentary review of policies, personal or business, to ensure adequate protection.

Integrated risk management Coverage that keeps
advice Programs that support your goals.
Personal Insurance
Life & More
peace of mind Insurance that works as hard as you do. Individual
For your peace of mind Affordable solutions that protect your lifestyle.
LOESEL-SCHAAF INSURANCE AGENCY, INC. 3537 West 12th Street Erie, PA 16505-3650 Phone: (814) 833-5433 Fax: (814) 838-6172


Plyler Commercial Installation and Service

At Plyler Entry Systems, we are proud to offer the highest quality commercial products and services in the tristate area. From dock levelers to commercial overhead doors and hollow metal doors, we offer 24/7 emergency service, preventive planned maintenance, and meticulous installation by highly trained technicians.


• Overhead Sectional Doors

• Coiling Steel Doors

• Commercial and Gate Operators

• Loading Dock Levelers, Restraints and Equipment

• Speed Doors

Hollow Metal

• Division 8 — Doors and Windows

• Division 10 — Specialties

Our experienced service team is here to help keep your business moving. Visit for details.

PA #29639
Copyright 2023

Manufacturer & Business Association

2023–2024 Board of Governors

Executive Committee

Board Members

New Board Members

Jennifer Nelson is the senior vice president of Supply Chain for AirBorn in Lake City, Pennsylvania. AirBorn Interconnect, Inc. is a 100-percent employee-owned company headquartered in Georgetown, Texas. The company’s core business is engineering and manufacturing specialized connectors and electronic components for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide.

Nelson previously served as vice president of Operations & Supply Chain from 2019–2023. A 24-year veteran of AirBorn, Nelson has held leadership roles in finance, operations and supply chain management. She is a graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. degree in accounting and business administration.

Nelson has been active in the community, supporting and volunteering in various capacities at St. Jude (formerly Our Lady’s Christian School) and Villa Maria Academy.

Chairman Kyle Blakeslee General Manager, Grede Foundry Vice Chairman Bob Frost Vice President, Engineered Systems Procurement Wabtec Corporation Treasurer Matt Clark Vice President and General Manager, Humes Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Immediate Past Chairman Jana Goodrich President and CEO Seaway Manufacturing Jen Nelson, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain AirBorn, Inc. Chad Betts President and Chief Executive Officer Betts Industries Scott Bonnell Owner Bonnell’s Truck & RV Gary Clark Chief Executive Officer Reed Manufacturing Co. Jon DeArment President and Chief Operating Officer, Channellock, Inc. Jeff Plyler President and Chief Executive Officer Plyler Enterprises, Inc.

Message from the Immediate Past Chairman

As I step away from my role as chairman of this remarkable association, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and pride for the journey we’ve shared and the milestones we’ve achieved together. It has been an honor to serve alongside dedicated individuals who are committed to the growth and success of our business community.

During my tenure, I have witnessed our association’s unwavering spirit and determination. Together, we have navigated challenges, embraced opportunities, and worked tirelessly to elevate our collective voice. From advocating for favorable policies to fostering innovative collaborations, we are truly making a difference.

I am especially proud of the strides we’ve taken in expanding our programs and services, and the dedication of my fellow Board members and the MBA’s professional staff in shaping the Association’s legacy.

As I hand over the reins to my successor, Kyle Blakeslee, I am confident that this association will continue to chart a course for success. We continue to make groundbreaking achievements — including this year’s 10th annual Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) — in support of our manufacturing and business communities in northwest Pennsylvania.

Thank you for your unwavering support and commitment to our shared vision. Wishing you all a future filled with prosperity, promise and limitless opportunities.

Tom Tredway is president at Erie Molded Packaging in Fairview Township, Pennsylvania, which specializes in the manufacturing of stock and custom solutions for the rigid packaging industry.

Tredway joined Erie Molded in 2006, acting as its vice president of Sales until 2020. Previously he worked as a financial advisor for Ameriprise Financial Services in Annapolis, Maryland.

Since moving back to Erie, Tredway has served on numerous local boards including Young Erie Professionals, Erie Regional Chamber of Commerce & Growth Partnership, Montessori Regional Charter School, and Stairways Behavioral Health. Nationally, he has served on the board of the Manufacturer’s Association for Plastics Processing.

Tredway earned his B.S. degrees in finance and management from Lehigh University.

Seaway Manufacturing
53 OCTOBER 2023

Ironworks Square Will Be Asset To Erie’s Emerging Economy

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that the Erie region has been steadily reinventing itself — from a hub of traditional manufacturing to a home for innovation and technology.

Nowhere, perhaps, is that revolution as publicly visible as at the southwest corner of West 12th and Cherry Streets, where the Erie County Redevelopment Authority’s (ECRDA) new Ironworks Square is helping to transform the city’s gritty, historic industrial corridor.

For generations, workers labored behind the thick brick walls of Erie Malleable Iron. They were part of the heyday of Erie industry, when foundries and factories provided steady paychecks and produced goods shipped around the world. But in 2001, that legacy came to an end for Erie Malleable Iron on West 12th Street. And for two decades, the building stood shuttered, a

Rust Belt relic of a manufacturing legacy long past.

Until now. Until the ECRDA purchased the property — for $375,000 in 2021 — with the vision of melding the past and future, and with the intention of helping to spearhead a transition of the entire West 12th Street corridor.

Half of the former EMI complex of aging brick is now gone, fallen victim to the demo crews that spent most of this year clearing the site. The demolition work — and the site remediation before it, which cleared out tons of debris, caustic chemicals, coal

ash, and other toxic substances — already has given a new look to the familiar corner at West 12th and Cherry Streets. But the transformation is just beginning. The next steps will reveal the new use for the 5.4-acre site finally taking shape — both the renovation of a fortress of brick and steel that remains at the eastern edge of the site, and construction of new structures that will rise on

The Erie County Redevelopment Authority (ECRDA) is spearheading the transformation of Erie’s West 12th Street Corridor with the new Ironworks Square.
54 OCTOBER 2023 •
Shown here are the former EMI complex and the demolition under way along West 12th Street.)

the shovel-ready west end of the property. Plans from Bostwick Design Partnership show a marriage of old and new, preserving the industrial charm of the historic 70,000-square-foot building while seamlessly integrating modern design.

an essential element of modern, innovative design. Electric vehicle (EV) chargers will be present on site, and solar panels are being considered. But the green strategy goes beyond what’s visible to visitors — it is in the site’s very DNA, buried beneath the surface where new structures will soon stand.

“Modern” will be key to the future of Ironworks Square. While the exact specifications of the completed site will depend on the needs of tenants, the site will be a mixed-use facility, and the most advanced business park in the city. Think high-tech offices sharing space with technology driven manufacturers. Employees making use of a conference center while visitors enjoy a public green space and a food establishment — and it will all be wired to meet the latest tech needs of tenants and guests.

A big part of that high-tech feel will be the way Ironworks Square will embrace green technology —

In a move that proved to be both environmentally sound and financially smart, ECRDA chose to reuse materials where possible in the process of preparing the site. That started with the decision to renovate, rather than replace, the original four-story structure on the east end of the property. It continued in the moves to salvage brick and steel where possible. And it culminated in the reuse of concrete — hundreds of tons, broken into fine bits of rubble — to use as fill in the foundation, saving both landfill space and about half a million dollars.

Construction is being led by the experienced team at EE Austin and once completed, Ironworks Square promises to be an asset in Erie’s emerging economy. It represents the dichotomy of old and new — a

blue-collar manufacturing heritage and an innovative, high-tech future. And, vitally, it serves as an anchor in the broader revitalization of the entire West 12th Street corridor — where public and private investments are transforming a former stretch of run-down road into a showcase of what perseverance, $100 million in investments, and good old-fashioned Erie ingenuity can build.

While the foundation is in place and the blueprints drafted for Ironworks Square, its final formation will depend on the needs of its tenants. This is build-to-suit space for businesses savvy enough to get in on the enterprise from the beginning. If you are looking to join the West 12th Street renaissance and be part of Ironworks Square, contact the ECRDA. Space is leasing now. Address:

Connect With Us on LinkedIn! company/erie-countyredevelopment-authority/ 55 OCTOBER 2023
1314 Griswold Plaza Erie, PA 16501 Phone: 814/480-0337 Website:



As industries shift, technologies advance and workforce dynamics change, the Manufacturer & Business Association’s professional staff is committed to meeting the emerging needs of businesses and professionals in innovative ways.

The MBA was established to provide a collective voice for employers and has continued to expand its horizons beyond mere representation. Today, the MBA is a dynamic resource that offers an array of programs and services designed to empower businesses of all sizes and industries.

One of the most notable ways in which the Association has soared to new heights is through its emphasis on professional development and HR training. Recognizing the demand for continuous skill enhancement in an era of rapid technological advancement, the MBA now offers a wide variety of training programs, workshops and webinars. The integration of technology is helping streamline administrative processes, enabling more efficient membership management, registration and communication.

Networking events, such as Eggs ‘n’ Issues, IMPACT Luncheons, legislative briefings, MFG Day and the Annual Event, facilitate Executive Team Finance Department

56 OCTOBER 2023 •
Lori Joint President and Chief Executive Officer Brad Phillips Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Tammy Toman, JD, PHR, SHRM-CP Vice President and Employment Counsel Sharon Ventrice Director of Finance Bea Blenner Assistant Controller Conference Center & Administration Laurie Mattis Director of Administration Ann Miaczynski Administrative Support Specialist Sarah Vincent Conference Center Coordinator
Pam Durst Receptionist Matt Zimmerman Data Analyst Intern Membership Patty Welther Manager of Member Engagement Government Affairs Jezree Friend Assistant Vice President of External Relations Eileen Anderson Director of Government Relations Employee Benefits and Insurance Lisa McKinney MBA Insurance Agency Melissa Lesniewski Member Benefits Coordinator

meaningful connections where ideas can flourish and partnerships can be forged — and many of the events are held at the MBA’s state-of-the-art Conference Center in Erie and Regional Learning Alliance offices near Pittsburgh.

Members can read about the latest happenings of the Association and its members in the premier digital edition of Business Magazine, and the MBA’s Government Affairs and HR/ Legal Services teams are constantly getting updates on the latest legislative news and HR compliance topics, alerting members as soon as possible. Plus, the MBA’s Energy and Insurance professionals are always finding members the best rates available.

As the MBA continues to soar to new heights, it not only seeks to elevate its members but help them achieve continued business success.

Business Magazine, Communications & Marketing

A Special Message to Our Members

As we navigate through these transformative times, I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to each and every one of you, our members. Your unwavering commitment, dedication and passion are inspiring.

We understand that the business landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, and the skills and knowledge required to thrive in this environment are ever-changing. We remain steadfast in our mission to provide value and support to our members.

We have embarked on strategic initiatives to ensure we continue to help our members in the ways you need most. In the coming months and years, you can expect to see a range of programs and resources designed to empower you with the tools and insights necessary to excel in this dynamic world.

Some of the initiatives we are working on include:

• Cutting-Edge Training Programs: We are enhancing our offerings to address the unique challenges and opportunities of the modern business landscape that will equip you with the latest skills and knowledge in your respective fields delivered in the ways that are most convenient for you and your employees.

• Networking and Collaboration: Our association will continue to serve as a hub for networking and collaboration. We are actively expanding our platforms and events to facilitate meaningful connections and knowledge sharing among our members.

• Research and Insights: To help you stay ahead of the curve, we are investing in research initiatives that will provide you with valuable insights into emerging trends and industry best practices. Your valuable input in the recent member survey will play a crucial role in shaping these efforts.

In addition to these initiatives, we are also enhancing the ways in which we communicate and collaborate. We will be introducing a brand-new website that will serve as a central hub for all MBA activities. This website will feature improved member access, discussion forums, and a wealth of resources to support your business.

Furthermore, we are exploring new and innovative ways for members to collaborate with one another.

We encourage you to share your ideas, suggestions, and expectations with us. Together, we can shape the future of our association and ensure it remains a vital resource for all our members. Together, we will navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

Thank you for your continued support!

Karen Torres Executive Editor and Senior Writer Frank Mehler Account Executive Christine DeSantis Graphic Designer Amy Breitfelder Digital Media Specialist Tammy Polanski Director of Marketing Lori Joint, MBA President and CEO
57 OCTOBER 2023 Staff continued on page 59.
David Thornburg Account Executive
Cherry • Ash Red Oak • White Oak Hard Maple • Soft Maple Beech • Walnut Poplar • Basswood Hickory • Yellow Birch Commitment, Quality, Customer Service Commitment, Quality, Customer Service Commitment, Quality, Customer Service Steve Jones & Nate Jones Domestic/Export Sales Phone (814) 438-7622 Fax (814) 438-2008 Sales Office: 2 East High St. P.O. Box 232 Union City, Pennsylvania 16438 Premium Northern Appalachian Hardwood Lumber Established in 1983 Family-owned & operated for over 40 years Experienced & Close To The Source Dry Kilns & Warehouse: 192 Howard Street Franklin, Pennsylvania 16323 RJH_Ad_HalfPageHoriz_7.25x4.875.indd 1 6/23/23 11:37 AM 58 OCTOBER 2023 •
Greenleaf Corporation is a leading supplier of industrial cutting tools, specializing in the manufacturing of high-performance tungsten carbide and ceramic grade inserts and innovative toolholding systems. We strive to be problem solvers for the difficult projects that our customers bring to us and that we see in the manufacturing industry as a whole. That has been our guiding principle since our founding in 1945. Greenleaf thrives to this day because we’ve never lost focus of our role as a partner in our customers’ success. Scan Me! 18695 Greenleaf Drive Saegertown, PA 16433 814-763-2915 59 OCTOBER 2023 Energy Advisors Judy
Advisor HR and Legal Services
Rosatti Energy
Rose Bruno, PHR, SHRM-CP HR Consultant Rachel Tserkovniak, SPHR HR Consultant and Trainer
Professional Development
Kim Figurski HR Consultant and Trainer
Training Services
Tracy Daggett, PHR Manager of Professional Development Training Services Lisa DeFilippo Senior Professional Development Trainer Casey Naylon Computer Trainer and Database Administrator
TRAINING @ THE MBA LEARN IT TODAY . . . APPLY IT TOMORROW! Harness the true potential of your workforce with more than 65 training programs to choose from! Visit for more information today!

You take pride in your craft and do whatever it takes to get the job done right. So do we. It’s why all of our pliers are proudly made right here in Meadville, PA. Legendary strength and uncompromising quality since 1886. It’s not the easy way. It’s the CHANNELLOCK ® Way. For true American-made pliers, shop

©2022 CHANNELLOCK, Inc. Meadville, PA, U.S.A.
Seize the Bay! • Breathtaking views and amazing sunsets • Award-winning hotels and first-class modern convention center • 392 sleeping rooms connected to 128,000 square feet of combined meeting space Contact us for more information or for reservations. Bayfront Convention Center • (814) 455-1260 Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel • (814) 454-2005 Courtyard Erie Bayfront Hotel • (814) 636-1005 • Like us on Facebook ERIE • PENNSYLVANIA
63 OCTOBER 2023

Reaching for the Stars!

MBA Honors HR Professionals With New Award for 2023

Human Resources (HR) professionals play a pivotal role in driving business success, serving as the linchpin that connects employees to the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. Their “people management” responsibilities encompass everything from talent acquisition and development to employee engagement, culture nurturing and compliance. In today’s dynamic and competitive business landscape, the role of HR has evolved from administrative functions to strategic partnership, making HR professionals indispensable to a company’s sustained growth and prosperity.

This year, the Manufacturer & Business Association, in conjunction with the MBA Business Magazine, is proud to recognize the dedication and service of our membership’s HR professionals with the first annual HR Person of the Year nominees. Nominated by MBA members representing a variety of industries, these individuals are among the best in their profession, including: Christopher Holmberg of Curtze Food Service, Deana Burge of Bethesda Lutheran Services, Mary Barr of Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, Jennifer Tshudy of American Turned Products, Kerry Lewis of SEPCO-Erie, Shannon Huddleston of Plyler Enterprises, Inc. and Stella LaPaglia of Marquette Savings Bank.

Online voting at will determine the winner, who will be announced and presented with the first ever HR Star Award at the MBA’s HR Conference on Wednesday, November 8, at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie.

“At the Manufacturer & Business Association, we recognize that HR professionals are at the heart of every successful organization and this award is meant to celebrate the valuable work that they do,” explains MBA President and CEO Lori Joint. “They are often behind the scenes making sure that things run smoothly, and we can’t thank them enough.”

In many companies, the HR professionals wear many hats, such as being responsible for identifying, attracting and retaining top-tier talent that aligns with the company’s vision and mission. They not only craft compelling job descriptions but also leverage their expertise to employ innovative recruitment strategies, ensuring that the organization brings in individuals who possess the right skills, competencies and cultural fit. Furthermore, HR professionals spearhead the development of employees throughout their tenure, fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth.

“They drive businesses forward by ensuring that the human aspect remains at the forefront of strategic decision-making and by fostering an environment where employees can thrive and contribute their best efforts.”

“They understand the importance of training programs and skill development, and continue to lead by example,” says Joint, “which is why we are so excited to announce this year’s winner at the MBA’s 11th annual HR Conference — the premier HR training event in the region.”

The HR Factor

Experts agree that the role of HR can’t be understated, especially in the area of employee engagement, which plays a critical factor in determining an organization’s success.

HR professionals are instrumental in creating an environment where employees feel valued, empowered and motivated to give their best. Through regular feedback mechanisms, recognition programs, and open communication channels, HR fosters a sense of belonging and shared purpose among employees. This not only enhances job satisfaction but also


boosts productivity, reduces turnover rates, and cultivates a positive work-place culture that acts as a magnet for top talent.

Beyond talent management, HR professionals are also responsible for ensuring the organization’s compliance with labor laws and regulations. This function minimizes legal risks and prevents costly litigation that could tarnish the company’s reputation.

“By staying up to date with evolving employment laws and regulations, HR professionals ensure that the organization’s practices remain ethical, transparent and in line with industry standards,” explains Tammy Lamary-Toman, JD, PHR, vice president and employment counsel for the Manufacturer & Business Association. “The MBA works closely with these HR professionals to answer questions and help them stay in compliance.”

HR also plays a pivotal role in managing crisis situations and change management. Whether it’s a global pandemic, economic downturn or a major organizational restructuring, HR professionals guide the organization through tumultuous times with empathy and resilience. They facilitate communication, provide necessary support to employees, and help the company navigate complex transitions while minimizing disruptions.

“HR professionals are the backbone of business success, linking the human element to the strategic goals of the organizations,” explains Toman. “By skillfully managing their many responsibilities, HR professionals contribute to a productive and motivated workforce, a positive organizational culture, and legal and ethical compliance.”

“In today’s business landscape,” Toman continues, “where success hinges on innovation, adaptability, and engaged employees, the role of HR professionals is more critical than ever. They drive businesses forward by ensuring that the human aspect remains at the forefront of strategic decision-making and by fostering an environment where employees can thrive and contribute their best efforts.”

To learn more about the MBA and the HR Person of the Year Award nominees, visit 

65 OCTOBER 2023
Mary Barr of Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center Christopher Holmberg of Curtze Food Service Stella LaPaglia of Marquette Savings Bank Jennifer Tshudy of American Turned Products Deana Burge of Bethesda Lutheran Services Shannon Huddleston of Plyler Enterprises, Inc. Kerry Lewis of SEPCO-Erie
Your partner in building a healthy smile for life. Delta Dental of Pennsylvania • • 800-471-7091

HR Person of the Year NOMINEE


Contact Information:


Phone: 814/838-1954

Years with Company: 36

Why we are so proud of this nominee: “Mary’s commitment to our agency, staff, and community spans 36 years. She strives to help each employee reach their full potential, and her guidance, leadership, compassion and dedication is an inspiration to all of us!”

HR Person of the Year NOMINEE

HR Person of the Year NOMINEE

Contact Information:


Phone: 814/724-7510

Years with Company: 5

Why we are so proud of this nominee:

“Deana is the consummate Human Resources

Professional. Deana guided us seamlessly through the pandemic and was instrumental in forming a plan to keep our staff available to provide the quality services that are a hallmark of Bethesda Lutheran Services. We are blessed to have Deana as our Human Resources Director.”

Contact Information:


Phone: 814/452-2281

Years with Company: 17

Why we are so proud of this nominee:

“Christopher Holmberg’s HR Person of the Year nomination is an acknowledgement of his exceptional leadership skills and commitment to create a thriving workplace to support company success.”

Associate Vice President of Human Resources Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center Congratulations!
DEANA BURGE Human Resources Director Bethesda Lutheran Services
CHRISTOPHER HOLMBERG, SPHR, SHRM-SCP Director of Human Resources Curtze Food Service Congratulations!
continued on
69. 67 OCTOBER 2023
Person of the Year
We’ll simplify the complex process of buying investment or owner-occupied property with an Erie FCU Commercial Real Estate Loan. Loans subject to credit approval. Membership eligibility required. • Insured by NCUA Contact Nathan Crouch or Mark Paradise at (814) 825 -2436 or to get started! • Investment and owner-occupied properties • Local market familiarity • Competitive low rates and loan terms • Local decision-making • No application fee • No pre-payment penalties MBA Ad 0823v2.indd 1 8/3/23 3:35 PM 68 OCTOBER 2023 •

Contact Information:


Phone: 814/476-7717

Years with Company: 8

Why we are so proud of this nominee:

“Shannon’s exceptional leadership, innovative thinking, and unwavering dedication not only helped us navigate the complexities of the pandemic but have also strengthened our company’s foundation for years to come.”

Contact Information:

Email: stella.lapaglia@

Phone: 814/455-4481

Years with Company: 14

Why we are so proud of this nominee: “Stella’s contributions to Marquette have been invaluable. Stella developed Marquette’s HR department from the ground up, and is a champion of career development, employee relations and driving positive change.”

Contact Information:


Phone: 814/864-0311

Years with Company: 27

Why we are so proud of this nominee:

“Kerry is truly a great asset to our company; she goes above and beyond to help all of our employees with whatever is needed. She is awesome!”

Contact Information:


Phone: 814/474-4200

Years with Company: 4

Why we are so proud of this nominee: “As teammates of Jenn, we have had the privilege of witnessing her unwavering dedication, outstanding leadership and significant contributions to the growth of ATP.”

HR Person
of the
SHANNON HUDDLESTON Human Resources Manager Plyler Enterprises, Inc. Congratulations!
HR Person of the Year NOMINEE STELLA LAPAGLIA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, GBA Senior Vice President of Human Resources Marquette Savings Bank Congratulations!
NOMINEE KERRY LEWIS, aPHR Human Resources & Benefits Coordinator SEPCO-Erie Congratulations!
Person of the Year
HR Person of the Year NOMINEE JENNIFER TSHUDY, PHR HR Manager American Turned Products Congratulations! Member FDIC 69 OCTOBER 2023


According to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, as many as 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience domestic violence in their lifetime. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we at Workpartners® are committed to the idea that everyone has the right to feel safe. We call our unique approach to human capital management People Activation. We believe it’s the key to ensuring that your company and employees flourish.

If an employee is facing mental, emotional, or physical abuse, our LifeSolutions® employee assistance program is here to offer support. We can help employees take steps to protect themselves and their dependents or create a safety plan to leave an abusive situation. Members of MBA save 10 percent when working with our counselors. To learn more, visit

analytics | advocacy | absence | technology
People. Activated.
partner violence is a serious problem in America. National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Summary Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reviewed July 26, 2022. Accessed Aug. 30, 2022. violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf 70 OCTOBER 2023 •

Northwest PA's Premier Contract Manufacturer

In 1967, James Rutkowski Sr. and Joan Rutkowski founded Industrial Sales & Mfg. Company in their family garage on Connecticut Drive with a Fosdick drill press and some parts to be machined for Copes Vulcan.

Fast forward to today, Industrial Sales & Mfg. Inc. (ISM) is a contract manufacturer that employs over 100 hard-working Pennsylvanians in six facilities in Millcreek Township in Erie County, Pennsylvania. In that time, ISM has produced more than 25,000 distinct parts numbers for over 800 companies and are approaching lifetime volumes of over half a billion dollars in revenue.

ISM is a premier contract manufacturer and supplier of quality machined, fabricated and assembled components for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). With advanced technology and highly skilled employees, ISM can produce a range of components and assemblies ranging from a single prototype to millions, exactly as ordered, on time, every time.

“ISM’s commitment to quality and performance has allowed us to achieve the growth that benefits our company, our employees, and the community in which we live,” says Founder and CEO Jim Rutkowksi

Great Lakes Manufacturing 1.866.879.4522 CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS - EDINBORO, PA COMPANY PROFILE 2609 West 12th Street Erie, PA 16505 Phone: 814/833-9876
Front row, from left: ISM Founder and CEO Jim Rutkowski Sr. and Secretary and Business Manager Ann E. RutkowskiMarx, along with (back row, from left): General Manager and Treasurer Jim Rutkowski Jr. and Vice President of Manufacturing Charlie Rutkowski.
71 OCTOBER 2023

MBA Remembers Contributions, Service of Business Leaders Who Passed Away in 2023

The Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) is proud to honor of the memory of three distinguished business leaders — John Krahe, Paul Nelson and Debra Steiner — who passed away over the past year.

“John, Paul and Debbie loved Erie and left indelible marks on the regional business community,” said Lori Joint, president and chief executive officer of the MBA. “We were proud to work with them as collaborators and friends, and we recognize the countless contributions they made to make our northwest Pennsylvania a better place to live. They will be sorely missed, and our heartfelt sympathies are with their families.”

John Krahe, a former MBA president and chief executive officer and longtime supporter of manufacturers and other employers in northwest Pennsylvania, passed away at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh on July 11, 2023, after a brief illness. He was 59.

“John was a wonderful mentor and friend, and the entire MBA family is devastated by his passing. Many of us worked with John for a long time — some more than 25 years,” said MBA President and CEO Lori Joint. “He was the kindest, most positive person I know, and we are blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him. He helped make the MBA a great place to work and the great organization that it is today. Our hearts break for his family and friends, and we continue to pray for them.”

Krahe was born in Erie on February 12, 1964. A Cathedral Prep alumnus, Krahe graduated from Elon College in Elon, North Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and finance.

72 OCTOBER 2023 •

Before assuming his most recent role as vice president of Operations at Howard Industries in Fairview Township, Krahe had been a dedicated member of the MBA’s professional staff for more than 30 years.

Krahe joined the Association in October 1992 and served as a training and development associate. In 1995, he was named manager of Training and Development and served in that capacity until he was appointed vice president in December 1999.

In his role as senior VP since January 2000, Krahe supervised all aspects of the organization’s day-to-day operations. He worked closely on special projects and initiatives with late President and CEO Ralph Pontillo for over 20 years, including the highly successful charitable event, Roar on the Shore, taking the lead on organizing safety and security measures

Paul T. Nelson, owner of Waldameer Park and Water World, was an incredible visionary that loved Erie. He passed away at age 89 on May 21, 2023, at UPMC Hamot following a brief illness.

Nelson was born in Dunkirk, New York on October 7, 1933. He was a 1951 graduate of Dunkirk High School, a 1955 graduate of Michigan State, and went on to serve his Country in the U.S. Army.

Nelson started working at the Waldameer amusement park in 1945 at the age of 11. He worked his way up to general manager and took over as owner in 1965. Prior to his passing, he had been overseeing work on the park’s biggest project to date — the Rocket Blast water slide.

According to his obituary, Nelson “loved his family, his family business, and the Erie community with all his heart.”

“He was willing to take risks to better his amusement park. He loved his projects there, and you could find Paul there every day, from spring to fall walking the grounds, working hard to keep Waldameer family owned and affordable for all walks of life. He was a loyal and generous person.”

with local and state law enforcement. Following Pontillo’s retirement in 2017, Krahe was named MBA president and CEO, a role he held until July 2022.

Krahe continued to contribute to the MBA’s two signature programs, serving as lead oversight for the Association’s 2022 MFG Day celebration and Annual Event, a pivotal role in advancing the manufacturing and business interests of Association members while connecting students and the community with today’s modern manufacturing and business opportunities.

Krahe was a member of the American Society of Association Executives and Board member of the Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System (ACES). For many years, he organized the Association’s annual golf event with partial proceeds benefiting ACES’ programs.

Nelson was past president of the Pennsylvania Amusement Park Association, Erie Tourist and Convention Bureau, past board member of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, past board member of the Hamot Hospital Board of Directors, past member of Lawrence Lodge #708 F.&A.M, Scottish Rite Valley of Erie, and Zem Zem Temple

Shrine. He was a member of the Erie Yacht Club, Erie Maennerchor Club, and was very active in the Erie County Republican Party. He was devoted to St. Mark Episcopal Church and was the Erie Episcopal Diocesan treasurer for many years for two Bishops.

Business advocate Debra

Lynn Coleman Steiner passed away on August 8, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 52. Steiner was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania on January 16, 1971 and graduated from Kiski Area High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree and MBA from Gannon University. She also studied at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

Steiner pursued a successful and influential career in business and supply-chain management. She enjoyed

leadership roles at Gannon University SBDC, Deugro USA, and Penn State Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

According to her obituary, “She was passionate about empowering and mentoring women in business for which she founded and led the Women in Leadership Development (W.I.L.D.) Conference.”

Steiner, who also served as an adjunct business professor at Gannon University, was active in the Erie community, serving on Erie County Enterprise Development Fund, the board of corporators for both UPMC Hamot and the former Saint Vincent Health Center. She was a past member of the governing board for Erie’s Athena PowerLink program.

73 OCTOBER 2023
PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID ERIE, PA PERMIT #199 To find out why businesses that choose UPMC Health Plan stay with UPMC Health Plan, visit For UPMC Health Plan award information, go to *The Cigna Healthcare PPO Network refers to the health care providers (doctors, hospitals, specialists) contracted as part of the Cigna Healthcare PPO for Shared Administration. Cigna Healthcare is an independent company and not affiliated with UPMC Health Plan. Access to the Cigna Healthcare PPO Network is available through Cigna Healthcare’s contractual relationship with UPMC Health Plan. All Cigna Healthcare products are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company. The Cigna name, logo, and other marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. Work with the best. You demand the best from your team. In return, you want to give your employees the best that you have to offer. We’ve got you covered. UPMC Health Plan offers affordable plan options for businesses of all sizes, an award-winning Health Care Concierge team, and access to high-quality care locally and through the Cigna Healthcare℠ PPO Network when your employees are traveling outside the UPMC service area.* More reasons why businesses choose UPMC Health Plan Trust As a longtime leader in health insurance, we build strong, long-lasting relationships with our clients.
options No matter the size of your business, we have the right plans to meet your team’s needs. Access Give employees access to the best doctors and hospitals of UPMC, as well as many community doctors and hospitals, and an extensive national network of outstanding providers across the country. Value As part of an integrated health care system, providers and payers work together to deliver high-quality care at affordable costs.

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