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TWO BIG EVENTS. ONE GREAT BIG CELEBRATION! Don’t miss your opportunity to be a big part of the fifth annual Manufacturing Day celebration.

MFG SHOWCASE EVENT (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.): Our kickoff event gathers more than 2,000 students, teachers, administrators, policy and industry advocates into our Exhibit Hall to explore numerous hightech exhibits and interactive demonstrations, including 3D printing, robotics, CNC machining, drone technology and more! Plus, this year’s event offers even more cutting-edge breakout sessions for attendees to interact with a diverse group of industry experts and learn about the high-paying jobs available in a variety of manufacturing industries.

MBA ANNUAL EVENT COCKTAIL RECEPTION (5 – 7 p.m.): Our evening gathering, which includes more than 1,000 business and community leaders, begins with a two-hour networking and cocktail reception inside the Exhibit Hall, giving ample opportunity for sponsors and exhibitors to reach some of the most influential business people in our region. We believe that by working together, we can promote the importance of a robust and innovative manufacturing industry — the most powerful force behind our nation’s economy, which continues to provide outstanding career opportunities for our young people.

BE BIG! Please consider joining this year’s Manufacturing Day Celebration as a sponsor, exhibitor or both! We have a variety of packages designed for every interest and budget. Please contact Patty Welther at or Lori Joint at or call 814/833-3200 for more information.

VOL. XXXI NO. 7 | JULY 2018








Nonprofit and Corporate Giving Why encouraging volunteerism is good for business.



Roar on the Shore® The charitable bike week marks its 12th year with Erie Insurance as its new title sponsor and some unforgettable grand marshal moments.



James Mando, president and chief executive officer of the Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, provides an overview of the Center and what it means to be the designated charity for this year’s rally.

















See photos from the Association’s 2018 IMPACT luncheon on strategies for successful internships.





READ ON THE GO! For the most current Business Magazine updates, visit

Contributing Writers Linda Croushore Jezree Friend Dana Pontillo Jeff Swaney Michael Thomas

Photography Roar on the Shore® Casey Naylon

Advertising Sales David Thornburg 814/833-3200

Design, Production & Printing Printing Concepts Inc.

Frank Mehler 814/833-3200

A closer look at the Newman’s Own Exception and why it means a new charitable planning option for business owners. Michael Thomas



Executive Editor Karen Torres

How to navigate the Bermuda Triangle of employee absences. Linda Croushore and Jeff Swaney

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could change charitable giving. Susannah Weis Frigon



How Governor Tom Wolf is attempting to put a stranglehold on the gas industry, instead of providing a pro-business, pro-growth climate. Jezree Friend

On the Cover: Roar on the Shore® Bike Week is marking its 12th year in 2018. For full story, see page 5. Mission Statement: The Manufacturer & Business

Association is dedicated to providing information and services to its members that will assist them in the pursuit of their business and community interests. – Board of Governors

Manufacturer & Business Association 2171 West 38th Street | Erie, Pa. 16508 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660

© Copyright 2018 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. • JULY 2018


In the past year…

helped nearly

400 local businesses

file for restitution.

Crime Victim Center of Erie County; not just your local rape crisis center. CVC is the only comprehensive center dedicated to helping ALL victims of crime, including businesses.

Contact us to learn how we can help you. 125 West 18th Street, Erie, PA 16501 814-455-9414 • Remember CVC on August 14, 2018 during Erie Gives Day


JULY 2018 •

Paid for in part by a grant from PCCD


Nonprofit and Corporate Giving WHY ENCOURAGING VOLUNTEERISM IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS Volunteering can not only make a difference for those in need, but it also can have a positive impact on your business. Research shows that employers who encourage and promote volunteering boost morale, workplace atmosphere and brand perception.

According to Deloitte’s 2017 Volunteerism Survey, nearly 89 percent of working Americans believe that companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those who do not. In fact, 70 percent of respondents say that volunteer activities are more likely to boost employee morale than company-sponsored happy hours, and 77 percent say, “volunteering is essential to employee well-being.” Thirty-eight percent of respondents say that their employers provide access to company-sponsored or coordinated volunteer programs. In addition, 69 percent say they are not volunteering as much as they would like to. One way that businesses can encourage more volunteering is by helping employees better understand how their efforts benefit their community — particularly Millennial employees who currently make up the largest portion of today’s workforce, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics’ study, Labor Force Projections to 2024: The Labor Force is Growing, but Slowly. Seventy-five percent of surveyed Millennials said they would volunteer more often if they had a better understanding of the impact they were making, compared to 61 percent of all respondents.

Another way businesses can encourage more volunteering is by helping their employees understand how it benefits them. In 2016’s Deloitte Impact Survey, 80 percent of hiring influencers indicated that they believe active volunteers move into leadership roles more easily. “As businesses continue to find new ways to retain and attract new talent, and establish a more purpose-driven and engaged workforce, they should consider how they can better incorporate volunteerism into their culture,” said Doug Marshall, managing director of corporate citizenship, Deloitte LLP. “It’s a potential solution from which businesses, professionals and communities can benefit, while supporting employees’ personal and career development, and boosting their sense of well-being.”

benefit the community, including the 12th annual Roar on the Shore® Bike Week, which runs from July 18-22. We’ll also talk with Jim Mando, president and chief executive officer of the Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, about the Center being the rally’s charitable beneficiary for 2018, and explore some other charitable planning options for employers. Plus, don’t miss exclusive photo coverage of the Business Magazine’s first IMPACT luncheon, featuring strategies for successful internships. Our IMPACT series offers opportunities for employers to get timely and critical information to help their businesses succeed — so be on the lookout for more details — or visit the Association’s all-new website,, to learn more!

In this edition of the Business Magazine, we’ll highlight some of the nonprofit organizations and charitable events that



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ERIE INSURANCE PARTNERS WITH ROAR ON THE SHORE® AS TITLE SPONSOR ‘Roar on the Shore® takes place right at our doorstep.’ It doesn’t get more “Erie” than Erie Insurance. In Erie, it doesn’t get more “motorcycle” than Roar on the Shore®. So it’s a natural fit the two would unite to raise funds for charity. A Roar® supporter for years, Erie Insurance recently signed on as title sponsor of the 2018 Roar on the Shore® Bike Week, which takes place July 18-22. “We are excited to be the title sponsor for this marquee motorcycle event in downtown Erie,” said Jon Bloom, Erie Insurance vice president of Personal Auto. “Roar on the Shore® takes place right at our

Roar® grand marshals are the rally’s most visible faces. They take with them fond memories of the Erie community. What they leave behind are interesting moments and odd tales. Peter Fonda enjoyed Wegmans’ egg salad sandwiches and Smith’s hot dogs during his visit. He spent an afternoon at Industrial Sales & Manufacturing with Jim Rutkowski Sr. learning about the John Kanzius project.

Bret Michaels of Poison, a lifelong armed forces supporter who hails from a military family, donated $1,000 of his appearance fee to that year’s charity, local Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans and their families. Darryl Worley was too tall to ride the Roar® tribute bike. His 6-foot-6-inch frame better fit the customized stretched Arlen Ness Lowliner happily loaned by Joe Askins of Off-Road Express.

Kyle Petty was grand marshal as a result of a fan who highly recommended booking the stock car racer and provided Roar® a direct contact to arrange his appearance.

Jesse James Dupree so loved the event he declared that he wanted to make Roar® a featured stop on his 2016 Jackyl Fest Tour. Indeed, Jackyl returned in 2016 and 2017.

Danny Trejo enjoyed a hearty omelet at Lorie’s Wildridge Restaurant the morning of the bike parade. He returned to California with 18 Roar® T-shirts for his friends and family.

doorstep, so it only makes sense to align ourselves with the Roar® board to make this an event you don’t want to miss.” The rally brings together tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities while showcasing the best of the local area. For more information about Roar® 2018, visit

Tales of Roar® 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Dee Snider is a fan of local band The M-80’s. After performing with the group at Presque Isle Downs & Casino’s pre-parade gathering, the Twisted Sister frontman declared the band’s musicians “exceptional.” Ami James insisted on flying first class. Since no seat was available on his connecting flight from Detroit, the tattoo artist waited for one. After realizing first-class seats into Erie are nonexistent, he reluctantly boarded a later flight and landed in Erie five hours late. Robbie Knievel took a private escorted ride around Presque Isle State Park. He was so taken by its beauty he returned for a second ride before leaving Erie. Vanilla Ice is the first Roar® grand marshal to live tweet during the event. An enormous crowd took in his performance at the casino — the largest pre-parade concert to date.

Danny “The Count” Koker was overwhelmed by crowds lining the streets on the Bringin’ In the Roar® Bike Parade route. Afterward, he said, “You know what I just saw? I just saw America at its finest!”

Paul Teutul Jr. lobbied for the grand marshal gig after learning about Roar® during his 2015 speaking engagement at Erie’s Manufacturing Day event.

Rick Harrison no doubt will make history at Roar® this year. What story will he leave behind? Only time will tell. • JULY 2018


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Roar Bike Week Rallies for Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center ®

During the third week of July, motorcycle enthusiasts from all 50 states and Canada converge on Erie Pennsylvania, to attend Roar on the Shore® Bike Week. The proceeds from the 2018 event, which is set for July 18-22, will benefit Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, Erie’s oldest nonprofit human service provider. Here, James Mando, president and chief executive officer of the Children’s Center, provides an overview of the Center and what it means to be the designated charity for this year’s rally.

Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center has been a leader in the care and treatment of children with mental health, behavioral health and severe emotional challenges for more than 147 years. Please provide an overview of the Center’s history. The Children’s Center was founded in 1871, in Erie, by a group of women interested in helping orphaned and homeless children. Sarah A. Reed was an original member of this group who founded “The Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor, and a Home for the Friendless.” Miss Reed served as president for 45 years from 1889 until her death in 1934. Today, our programs and services help children (ages 3-18) who are working to overcome emotional, mental and behavioral health challenges, many of whom have suffered varying levels of abuse, neglect or trauma. Our professional staff provides the cutting-edge therapies needed to help them heal, strengthen their families and teach them the necessary skills to help them reach their goals. Sarah Reed is a Sanctuary ®-certified agency and is accredited by the Joint Commission for Accreditation on Healthcare Organizations ( JCAHO) and the American Psychological Association. What types of services do you provide? We offer a variety of programs to children and families, including a 24-hour Residential Treatment Program in Millcreek that helped 51 children last year from the Erie,

Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia region. We also have Partial and Acute Partial Hospitalization Programs that help 185 students annually from Erie’s city and county schools, and we offer Alternative Education Programs for middle and high school students with mental/behavioral health challenges. Sarah Reed also partners with many local school districts to provide in-school therapists who counsel students in need of extra help and support. Our Outpatient Program, located in the Professional Building, provides individual and family therapy, medication management and a new Psychological Assessment Clinic. Today, the Center serves more than 1,700 children and adolescents annually at seven program facilities, area school districts and communitybased services. Describe how vital your services are to the children it serves. A child from our Residential Treatment Program recently said, “Without Sarah Reed, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s a lifechanging experience.” We truly believe that our specialized services are changing lives, and our goal each day is to positively alter the course of some of our community’s most at-risk children. Unfortunately, 90 percent of the children we treat have experienced trauma or abuse, which oftentimes is the source of their mental/ behavioral issues. Our agency provides a healing, therapeutic environment to

help each child be successful and to stop the vicious cycle of abuse, violence and unhealthy life choices. Funds from Roar® 2018 will help defray some of the general construction costs of a new, 12-bed residence hall for the Center’s 24/7 Residential Program located at its main campus on West 34th Street in Erie. Tell us more. There has been an increasing demand for our Residential Program, and this fifth unit will allow us to serve an additional 20-25 children annually. Phase One is underway, and we broke ground on June 8. What are your thoughts on the Center being chosen as the Roar® charity for 2018? We are thrilled and greatly appreciate the opportunity to shine a light on our organization and the difference being made every day for children and families. What are you most looking forward to at Roar® this year? Roar on the Shore® is one of Erie’s signature events! It’s a wonderful way to showcase our great city on the lake, and I’m looking forward to meeting new people. For more information about Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, call 814/838-1954 or visit • JULY 2018



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Navigating the Bermuda Triangle of Employee Absences

employees and require appropriate medical documentation. When these best practices falter, cases start to run off the rails because most leaves contain too many nuances for employees to comply without ongoing guidance. Sending the employee a start-up letter or medical certification form is not enough. Employers who require fitness-for-duty certification should have a uniform FMLA policy in the employee handbook and other written communication to employees. The employer must give the employee a list of the essential job functions for use in the certification. The certification states the employee is able to resume work following an FMLA leave, it can address the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job, and is signed by the employee’s health-care provider. Employers should not refuse to let an individual with a restriction return to work simply because the worker is not fully recovered from the injury. This mentality will likely result in an ADA violation.

Linda Croushore, Med, is the senior director of Disability Services at WorkPartners. Part of UPMC’s global health enterprise, WorkPartners provides health and productivity solutions to high-performing companies throughout the United States.

Jeffrey Swaney is the vice president of Workers’ Compensation at WorkPartners. Formed in 1997, WorkPartners has continued to expand services in an effort to help its clients strategically manage the health and well-being of their employees.

Some employee absence events may trigger not just one law, but the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and state workers’ compensation laws.

simply stop reporting for work; some notice of need is required by the FMLA.

Violations of these laws may cause penalties to employers and, in some cases, even to managers. It is generally the employee’s responsibility to inform the employer about the need for an accommodation, related to a medical condition, to enable the employee to fulfill the essential duties of the job. Failure to clearly request an accommodation or provide this information has not always prevented lawsuits, however. In some cases, erratic employee behavior was a sufficient notice of need for an accommodation. In addition, a doctor, family member or other qualified person can make requests “on behalf of” the employee. Employees cannot

In the workers’ compensation area, every state has its own laws and regulations, but the claim for a work-related injury should always be reported within 24 hours of the injury. This timeframe gives the workers’ compensation program time to assess the claim’s validity. More importantly, care can be directed early in the process as allowed by state statutes. The ADA, FMLA and workers’ compensation regulations overlap in several areas; employers must determine which one(s) apply to an employee’s leave request. This overlap can raise questions regarding employer coverage, employee eligibility, length of leave and medical documentation. Employers operating in this overlap zone need to maintain communication with their

The interactive process begins when an employer learns of the need for an accommodation. Even when an employer believes that no accommodation is possible, the ADA requires the “interactive process” to discuss the situation with the disabled worker; healthcare providers are often included. Rather than moving straight to the undue hardship argument when an employee requests an accommodation, employers should thoughtfully and completely evaluate the request. Does the proposed accommodation provide for safety of employees and customers (patients in the healthcare setting); does it remove any essential functions; will it negatively impact work or product quality? The interactive process may require multiple cycles to explore other possible job modifications, more leave time or other alternatives. Employers should not place the burden on the employee to identify open positions that might meet the employee’s accommodation request. Yet, it is imperative that employers document all efforts of an employee — or the lack of effort — to engage in this interactive process. When employers consider all of these elements while managing an employee leave or claim, the overlapping processes of ADA, FMLA and workers’ compensation run more smoothly. Because the ADA interacts so significantly with the other two, the ADA interactive process is key to helping you avoid being sucked into the Bermuda Triangle when dealing with employee absences. For more information, visit • JULY 2018



JULY 2018 •

Newman’s Own Exception:


A New Charitable Planning Option for Business Owners passed just before the 10-year grace period for Newman’s Own Foundation to dispose of its excess business holdings was about to expire, and is commonly referred to as the “Newman’s Own Exception.” The Exception permits a private foundation to hold a controlling interest in a Company if all of the following requirements are met: 1. The foundation must own 100 percent of the voting stock of the Company. 2. The stock must have been acquired by the foundation by gift or will. It may not have been acquired by purchase.

Michael P. Thomas is a partner with MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton LLP. He assists individuals, closely held family companies, and larger entities on a wide variety of estate and trust planning and administration, wealth transfer, succession planning, tax and business matters. Business owners who are charitably minded have historically struggled to work through the limited options available for transferring the value associated with their company (“Company”) in a way which both furthers a charitable purpose of their choosing, and also allows the Company they created and its employees to remain intact as a community asset. In these situations, the business owner often desires to fund the charitable bequest each year out of Company earnings. However, unless the Company is owned outright by a public charity, which is typically undesirable for both parties, this requires using a private charitable foundation or a charitable trust.

Unfortunately, private foundations and charitable trusts are subject to limitations on their excess business holdings. Under these complicated rules, the private foundation or charitable trust is prohibited from owning more than 20 percent of a for-profit entity. Any excess shares must be disposed of within five years from the date of acquisition (one five-year extension is available from the IRS in some scenarios). This has often resulted in 1) the sale of the Company to a third party or employee stock ownership plan, either during life or upon the death of the business owner; or, 2) complicated arrangements involving voting and nonvoting shares, trusts and diversified ownership arrangements. Fortunately, some relief has now arrived as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which was signed into law in February. It contains an important amendment to the excess business holdings rule. Under the amendment, business owners may make a charitable contribution of 100 percent of their Company to their private foundation, and the foundation may retain ownership of the Company indefinitely. The amendment was the result of tireless efforts by the Newman’s Own Foundation, which became the sole owner of Paul Newman’s salad dressing company upon his death in 2008. The amendment was

3. Within 120 days after the close of the taxable year, the Company must distribute to the foundation an amount equal to its net operating income for that year. “Net operating income” is basically defined as taxable income less taxes paid less “an amount for a reasonable reserve for working capital and other business needs of the business enterprise.” 4. No substantial contributor to the foundation or a family member of a substantial contributor may be a director, officer or employee of the Company. 5. At least a majority of the board of directors of the foundation must be persons who are not 1) directors or officers of the Company; or 2) family members of a substantial contributor. 6. There may be no loans from the Company to a substantial contributor to the foundation or to any family member of a substantial contributor. This Exception is very narrow and requires 100-percent ownership by the private foundation. Nonetheless, in the appropriate circumstances, the Newman’s Own Exception creates a significant planning opportunity for business owners seeking to combine their philanthropic goals with a strategy that allows the Company they have worked so hard to build to remain in existence as a community asset on a permanent basis. For more information, contact Mike Thomas at MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton LLP at 814/870-7711, or any other member of the MacDonald Illig Estates and Trusts, Tax or Business Transactions Practice Group. • JULY 2018



On Memorial Day 2018, Team Erie FCU honored our local veterans at the Erie SeaWolves baseball game by presenting the Veterans Miracle Center of Erie (VMCErie) with a truck full of new clothing and personal care items that were collected at its nine branch locations during the month of May. “Erie FCU is thankful to their employees and members for their donations and continued support of the local veterans and service men and women,” stated an Erie FCU press release. Other collection sites included their community partners, the Pittsburgh Inn, Northshore Insurance, Burton Funeral Homes, and WPSE – Money Radio. All items donated will be distributed through the VMCErie. For more information about Erie FCU, visit

From left: Erie SeaWolves President Greg Coleman, Erie FCU CEO Brian Waugaman, VMCErie Operations Manager Chuck Turner and Erie SeaWolves Mascot C-Wolf at the Memorial Day game.

PLASTIKOS BREAKS GROUND ON NEW MEDICAL MOLDING FACILITY Precision medical injection molder Plastikos, Inc. has announced the construction of a brand new medical molding facility in support of Plastikos’ cleanroom medical molding growth. The two-part expansion plan will consist of a 33,000-square-foot stand-alone facility — Plastikos Medical — located less than a quarter mile from its headquarters, 8165 Hawthorne Drive. The target completion date for Phase I of this project is scheduled for summer 2019.

In late 2014, Plastikos broke ground on its first major medical expansion, which consisted of a 17,000-square-foot-addition onto its existing headquarters. Since then, Plastikos’ medical sales have increased more than 100 percent, which has prompted the need for additional cleanroom medical molding capacity. The brand new, state-of-the-art facility will include all of the corresponding support departments, including a dedicated tool maintenance room, mold storage, metrology lab and office space. Initially, Phase I of the ISO 7 (Class 10,000) project will accommodate ten (10) brand new medical injection molding machines. Each machine will be equipped with its own integrated 3-axis robot and cavity pressure monitoring system, among other advanced technologies. Additionally, in order to remain environmentally conscious, the new medical facility will incorporate LED lighting and utilizes natural light with advanced building system management technology. Looking further ahead, Phase II of the Plastikos Medical expansion will consist of an additional 10 medical molding machines as customer demand further increases. Plastikos’ production fleet will increase to 45 injection molding machines with the completion of Phase I of the new stand-alone facility. Future Phase II expansion plans will add another 10 presses to the fleet; thereby, raising the total machine count to 55 molding machines. For more information, visit


JULY 2018 •


LORD Corporation recently announced an $80 million expansion project at its Saegertown, Pennsylvania facility. “We’ve launched some new initiatives in some new markets, like electric vehicles, and we need to expand our capacity to be able to support that new market,” said Lord Corp. President and CEO Ed Auslander, in an article published by According to the report, Auslander and other company leaders broke ground on the 75,000-square-foot addition in May. It will be located behind the current facility, which is located off of Route 198. The company already employs 235 workers in Saegertown. The project is expected to add many more jobs when the expansion wraps up in 2023. LORD Corporation is 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, LORD has worked in collaboration with our customers to provide innovative oil and gas, aerospace, defense, automotive and industrial solutions. With world headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, LORD has approximately 3,100 employees in 26 countries and operates 19 manufacturing facilities and 10 R&D centers worldwide. For more information, visit

GE TO MERGE TRANSPORTATION UNIT WITH WABTEC IN $11.1B DEAL General Electric Co (GE.N) announced a $11.1 billion deal recently to merge its transportation business with U.S. rail

equipment manufacturer Wabtec Corp (WAB.N), with GE and its shareholders owning just over half of the combined business. The deal, first reported by, is the biggest to be inked thus far by GE Chief Executive John Flannery since he announced a major overhaul of the U.S. industrial conglomerate late last year. The transaction values the GE transportation business, which makes train engines, at $11.1 billion. GE will receive a $2.9 billion upfront payment in cash and a 9.9-percent stake in the combined company, with GE shareholders awarded 40.2 percent and existing Wabtec shareholders owning 49.9 percent. The resulting company will have approximately $8 billion in revenues, with 27,000 employees across 50 countries, the companies said. The transaction is expected to close in early 2019.


Erie Gives 2018 will take place on August 14, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. During this 12-hour period of online giving, The Erie Community Foundation will match a percentage of each donation made to a donor’s favorite nonprofit(s) when he or she donates through the website. Participating organizations must be a 501(c)(3) and either be a member of The Nonprofit Partnership or have an Agency Endowment with The Erie Community Foundation to participate in Erie Gives. The minimum gift is $25. There is no limit to the amount of money that may be given. There is no limit to the number of organizations that can be donated to in a transaction. For more details, visit


MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton LLP recently announced that partners Roger H. Taft, W. Patrick Delaney and Lisa Smith Presta have been selected as 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. Only 5 percent of attorneys in Pennsylvania are chosen to receive this distinction. Super Lawyers is “a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.” Taft is a principal trial lawyer at MacDonald Illig whose practice is focused on employment litigation, including employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases, and complex commercial litigation. He represents clients in federal and state courts throughout Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio, as well as in federal courts throughout the United States. Delaney is a trial lawyer and chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department. He has experience litigating a wide variety of matters, from shareholder disputes

to personal injury. In general, the focus of his practice is commercial litigation. Delaney has litigated disputes in the federal and state courts throughout Pennsylvania and in various other jurisdictions. Presta is a trial lawyer and chair of the firm’s Insurance Litigation Department. She handles complex, multi-party litigation, including breach of contract matters, fiduciary disputes, malpractice cases, non-compete litigation, and the defense of employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful discharge claims. She represents clients in federal and state court, before administrative agencies such as the EEOC, and in arbitration tribunals such as the American Arbitration Association. Additionally, S. Craig Shamburg has been selected as a Rising Star in the 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers publication. Shamburg is a partner with MacDonald Illig and a member of the firm’s Trusts & Estates Group and Business Transactions Group. He works with individuals in preparing both simple and sophisticated Wills and Trusts to transfer wealth in the most tax efficient manner.


The Erie Community Foundation has announced the appointment of Court Gould as vice president of Community Impact, succeeding George Espy who recently retired.

For the last 20 years, Gould served as founding executive director of Sustainable Pittsburgh. Prior to working at Sustainable Pittsburgh, he was executive director for Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, department program manager for Air & Waste Management Association, senior management analyst for the Allegheny County Department of Administration, and assistant director for National Coalition to Improve Management in State and Local Government at Carnegie Mellon University. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in political science and American Studies from Tufts University, and his master of public administration in Intergovernmental Management from the University of Southern California. Gould is also the founding chair of the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership and serves on advisory committees for the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management and Power of 32, a key indicator project that created a shared vision across 32 counties and four states adjacent to Allegheny County.

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more than


in manufacturing career pathway

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Support the program that supports you!

Make your donation to Career Street on Erie Gives Day, August 14, 2018 so we can provide transportation for more than 2,000 area students to attend Manufacturing Day 2018. Your donation will enable middle and high school students from across Erie County to visit manufacturing exhibits, experience hands-on demonstrations and learn about all the diverse manufacturing career opportunities that are available. 814.464.8614

Help us pave the way for a skilled and engaged workforce.


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Will the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Change Charitable Giving?

prefer to make cash gifts to qualifying nonprofits, the limit has actually been raised to 60 percent of adjusted gross income (previously 50 percent). Also, a little-known provision called “the Pease limitation” has been eliminated, increasing the value of itemized deductions for high-income filers.

Susannah Weis Frigon, CFP® has been the vice president of Investor Relations & Donor Stewardship at The Erie Community Foundation since 2013. Prior to that, she spent 24 years in the financial services industry, holding senior leadership positions in Chicago, Rochester, New York and Pittsburgh. While the 2017 tax season has just passed, it is not too early to begin thinking about 2018 tax planning. For many donors, business owners and professional advisers, charitable giving is a key component of this planning. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has changed the rules of this game. What will be the impact on tax filers and on our community? In the philanthropic universe, initial dire predictions about the tax act’s consequences have, in large part, leveled off. Although it remains too soon to say, many people assume that the increased standard deduction — to

$12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for those married filing jointly — would decrease charitable giving. Due to the larger standard deduction, fewer filers will itemize and take advantage of the charitable deduction. Thus, the “average” donor (those who ordinarily give between $1,000 and $25,000 per year) would give less to charity. For the high net worth donor, the increased estate tax threshold is also assumed to create a negative outcome for philanthropy. There are reasons to question this assumption. Surveys consistently show that taxable impact is rarely the primary driver behind a charitable gift. Instead, donors give to causes they care about, to memorialize or honor a loved one, or to create a lasting legacy. Combined with these motivations, elements of the new plan may actually increase the benefits of charitable giving — more so than at any time in recent memory. How could that be? At the simplest level, lower tax rates overall mean more disposable income. Particularly for business owners receiving pass-through income from an LLC or S Corp, the new 20-percent cap means more money in hand. This may drive an increase in giving. For donors who

The law’s effect could have even greater impact on capital gains tax. Although the capital gains rate on long-term property remains nominally unchanged, the effective rate has actually increased. How? In the 41 states that require state income tax on capital gains (yes, including Pennsylvania), these taxes were previously fully deductible on a taxpayer’s federal return. Now, thanks to the new $10,000 limitation on state and local taxes (“SALT”), it is likely that a far smaller portion of capital gains can now be deducted. This results in a higher effective capital gains rate. Given the run-up in the stock market over the last several years, charitable giving becomes a compelling way to dispose of highly appreciated assets. Individuals also have the opportunity to “front-load” their charitable giving in order to maximize deductibility under the new rules. How? By making a large gift to a Donor Advised fund in one year, a donor would qualify for the charitable deduction in that year. The Fund then allows distributions to charities over a timeframe of the donor’s choosing, with no taxable impact. Finally, the IRA Charitable Rollover remains unchanged. It is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce income taxes. As long as the donor is at least 70½ years old, required minimum distributions up to $100,000 can be issued directly to a qualifying nonprofit. Particularly on Erie Gives Day, when the gift is eligible for a pro-rated match, a Charitable Rollover is a simple and tax-efficient way to support favorite causes. For more information, contact Susannah Weis Frigon at 814/454-0843 Ext. 105 or To learn about Erie Gives Day on August 14, visit • JULY 2018



The Wolf That Cried Tax Pennsylvania Governor Can’t Disguise Dismal Plan for Job Growth Jezree Friend is the Manufacturer & Business Association’s government relations representative and is responsible for developing legislative priorities and strategies; encouraging membership grassroots activities; and lobbying on behalf of a pro-growth, pro-business agenda. Contact him at

As he hums the 1980s hit, “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake, Governor Tom Wolf continues to deprive Pennsylvania from achieving its economic potential as an energy powerhouse. In his effort to take what is not his, politically disguised by words like “fee and tax” and rhetoric such as “Fair Share,” he moves to add a new 4-percent severance tax on natural gas companies. Since the impact tax has been implemented on natural gas in 2013, Pennsylvania has been the recipient of more than $1.5 billion in revenue. But why stop there? This additional tax, when added together, would crown Pennsylvania the highest taxed state in the industry. Wolf is joined in his efforts by Pennsylvania’s public sector unions. Ironically, they are the same groups


JULY 2018 •

who graciously dumped $7.9 million into his re-election campaign. Not to be confused with trade unions, these organizations are funded by tax dollars. These tax funded, politically biased forces are concerned about keeping their swollen public pensions intact. Their $74-billion price tag in unfunded liability designates them public enemy No. 1 to Pennsylvania’s fiscal longevity. I mean, even though this tax will raise energy costs for millions of Pennsylvanians, as long as they get theirs, who cares? Wolf’s new favorite phrase, “What lies beneath the ground belongs to all of us” could not be more wrong. Contrary to Vladimir Lenin’s beliefs, I can’t claim the contents of my neighbor’s garage because he has a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, my dream car. If you can follow this line of reasoning, we are in agreement the state cannot steal, I mean tax, our resources for personal reasons. Wolf projects the tax to generate $250 million in the next fiscal year. However, the state’s Independent Fiscal Office reported Pennsylvania has around $440 million to $640 million in extra spending compared to last year at the same time. Aware of this, Wolf openly admits the severance tax is not needed to balance the budget; he just wants an extra $250 million for, wait for it, roads and bridges. If he wants more money, sort of like how business owners want to keep their profits, why ignore common-sense

economics? Instead of attempting a stranglehold on the industry, provide a pro-business, pro-growth climate. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate sits at 4.7 percent, around 297,490 workers. If a progrowth governor would allow these companies to keep their profits to invest back into their ventures, it’s conceivable new jobs would become a byproduct. More workers equals more taxable income. If unemployment was reduced by one-half percent, it would result in 32,000 jobs. At marketrate salaries, this comes out to a conservative $1.28 billion of taxable income. Between real-estate and consumer products to be purchased by the newly employed, there are a plethora of further taxes just waiting to be consumed by the tapeworm that is the state government’s appetite for our money. If we disregard this revolutionary idea for job growth, it should be noted, a recent economic study, Forge the Future, found maximizing Pennsylvania’s energy opportunity could expand GDP by $60 billion a year, create 100,000 additional jobs and increase receipts to the state Treasury by $2 billion to $3 billion annually. Governor Wolf’s “plan” would be a blatant disregard for our future. Hopefully, awarding Pennsylvania gas companies the title of “highest taxed in the country” won’t cement any plans to leave our state.

Greater Erie Community Action Committee (GECAC) 18 West 9th Street Erie, PA 16501 Phone: 814/459-4581 Website:

GECAC Work-Readiness Program Provides Resource Tool for Employers The Greater Erie Community Action Committee, better known as GECAC, believes Erie is a place of endless opportunity. GECAC has more than 50 years of real-life experience helping families succeed. As Erie County’s poverty-fighting organization, GECAC helps: 1) hardworking, low-income families, 2) seniors living on a fixed income, 3) wage earners suddenly out of work, and 4) residents returning to our community from incarceration. GECAC is looking to the future with a renewed focus on engaging the entire community to work with residents living in poverty. We are focused on results and measuring our impact. GECAC is launching new initiatives, developing new partnerships and identifying new resources to do what we do best — community building, human service delivery and advocating for low-income families. Erie needs a robust and well-trained workforce. However, many individuals

Danny Jones, Chief Executive Officer

lack the training and soft skills that will help them get — and keep — good jobs. To help businesses find qualified workers and to assist workers in developing career and life skills, GECAC offers the Work Certified™ program. The Work Certified™ program is a national program that focuses on customized soft skills and work readiness training to ensure performance, production and retention of employees.


The Work Certified™ program is designed for pre-employment and incumbent workers, focusing on soft skills, which leads to a certificate of work readiness. The program is the perfect tool for individuals seeking entry-level to intermediate-level employment. It is also an excellent resource for employers looking to train existing employees or a resource that can be used to ensure employers get the best candidates for their jobs. Currently, GECAC is the only organization licensed to teach the

Work Certified™ curriculum throughout a six-county region. Work Certified™ is an employer-driven program where employers design the curriculum around their needs. Employees must master nearly 50 competencies before they are certified to be ready to work. The program will ensure that graduates are competent in areas like customer service, work ethic and accountability to digital technology, business literacy and critical analysis. Our goal is to prepare your future employees with the soft skills and behaviors that will ensure their success in your workplace. Join us in transforming your workplace and our community. To learn more about Work Certified™ contact Ben Wilson, WorkForce Division, at 814/459-4581 or • JULY 2018


Erie’s domestic violence agency providing free and confidential services including: • • • •

• Transitional Housing 24/7 Hotline Service • Education and Training Emergency Shelter Counseling and Advocacy • Programs for Children Legal Representation

814-454-8161 2014 Roar on the Shore Non-profit Beneficiary

A ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania

239 East 12th Street Erie, PA 16503 814-836-4153


Do you have confidence in your social service liability insurance policy to address the unique exposures of your organization? No two organizations are the same so why should their liability policies be “off-the-shelf”? In the event of a major claim, your liability insurance policy can be the last line of defense to protect the bottom line and the important work that you do.

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JULY 2018 •


In 2016, Americans — as individuals, estates, foundations and corporations — gave more than $390 billion to U.S. charities, up 2.7 percent from 2015, according to Giving USA 2017, an annual report from Chicago-based Giving USA Foundation, a research and education group focused on philanthropy. Individual giving, which increased 4 percent, drove the overall growth, but corporate giving grew a respectable 3.5 percent and totaled more than $18.5 billion, the report says Such giving helps the recipients, of course, but also has benefits that ripple through the charitable companies, including overall corporate growth rates.

Dental and Overall Health Starts at Home

“Companies that increased total giving between 2014 and 2016 by 10 percent or more had higher median growth rates between 2014 and 2016 in terms of revenues (+4.1 percent) and pretax profits (+7.6 percent) than all other companies,” according to Giving in Numbers: 2017 Edition, a report from two New York-based groups, The Conference Board, a global independent business membership and research association, and the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

Dental prevention can be simple, especially when you maximize your dental benefits offered by the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA). Your plan pays 100 percent for covered diagnostic and preventive care once you’ve met your deductible (if applicable) — so you have every reason to visit your dentist for regular care to ensure good oral health.


However, what many people don’t realize is that your home care routine is a significant factor in preventing a lifetime of adverse health conditions. A routine that takes less than six minutes each day can protect against many of these conditions, especially periodontal (gum) disease.

America’s Charities, recently unveiled a groundbreaking report, Snapshot 2017: What U.S. Employees Think about Workplace Giving, Volunteering, and CSR. Developed from an online survey conducted in the first and second quarters of 2017, Snapshot 2017 provides rich insights into employer donor motivations — insights that are valuable to companies who are looking to attract and retain talent, build a strong culture and achieve greater social impact.

Oral health care extends beyond taking care of your teeth. Lack of oral care and awareness at home can lead to gum disease, which may be a contributing factor to heart disease, stroke, increased chance of premature and low birth weight babies, and an increased risk to patients with diabetes or respiratory disease. Your twice-yearly exam allows an opportunity to discuss any oral health questions with your dental team. As part of your home routine, you should examine your own teeth, gums, tongue and lips for any changes.

Key findings include: 1. Workers value giving on the job. Nearly three out of five survey respondents indicate that they volunteer their time through a workplace-sponsored program and nearly one half report that they donate through employee giving programs.

Since changes in your mouth can reflect changes in your overall health, awareness is key. If you notice any changes that don’t subside in seven to 10 days, don’t wait for your next cleaning to see your dentist. If some changes you notice do subside, make a note to talk with your dentist at your next cleaning.

2. Choice is critical to workplace donors. Workers don’t want to have their giving choices dictated by their employers. In fact, more than three quarters of respondents said that having the ability to choose causes they care about is imperative or very important to a positive donation experience.

And, speaking of waiting, why wait to see the dentist if you haven’t this year? Your plan through MBA doesn’t include any waiting periods. Invest in your overall health by increasing your oral wellness awareness and care today. For more wellness content from Delta Dental, visit

3. Workplace giving is a valuable tool for attracting and retaining talent. More than 70 percent of respondents said it was imperative or very important to work for an employer where mission and values align.

Lisa Wagner, M.D., is a dental director for Delta Dental of California’s enterprise, which includes Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and its affiliated companies. These companies are members, or affiliates of members, of the Delta Dental Plans Association, a network of 39 Delta Dental companies that together provide dental coverage to 75 million people around the country. • JULY 2018


HR Q&A | GET ANSWERS WE HAVE AN EMPLOYEE THAT HAS A NOTICEABLE ODOR. OTHER EMPLOYEES ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT IT. HOW SHOULD WE APPROACH THIS INDIVIDUAL? That situation should be confronted delicately. You may suspect it’s a hygiene issue, but it could be caused by a medical condition, so you need to be discreet about it when you talk to the employee. Bring him aside to discuss the matter privately, then indicate that it has come to your attention that the employee tends to have a noticeable body odor. He may already be aware of the problem, or may be completely unaware of it, and embarrassed to find out this way.

Ask if he can come up with some solutions to address the problem. Hopefully, he will think of a possible source himself — certain foods (some Indian foods, garlic) tend to react badly with some people’s chemical makeup to produce an odor, and some people have a bad reaction to certain laundry soaps or other skin products. Go over some possibilities together (it’s possible he may admit it’s a hygiene issue). You may want to suggest that he check with his doctor to find out the cause and see if there is anything medically that can address the problem (for example, there are over-the-counter and prescription remedies for hyperhidrosis, if the problem is excessive sweating). If it is a medical issue you have to tread cautiously, because you may be encroaching on something that may be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which may require you to make an accommodation. In any case, the key is to show respect and compassion. As embarrassing as this conversation is for you, it’s doubly so for the employee, so try to minimize his embarrassment as much as possible. Companies have the right to implement personal hygiene policies and expect employees to look, act, and even smell professional while at work.

IF EMPLOYEES ARRIVE EARLY OR STAY LATE, CAN WE REMOVE THOSE HOURS FROM THEIR TIMECARDS? If the employees are not actually working, you can remove those hours. The applicable federal regulation (29 CFR §785.48, Use of time clocks) states, “employees who voluntarily come in before their regular starting time or remain after their closing time, do not have to be paid for such periods provided, of course, that they do not engage in any work. Their early or late clock punching may be disregarded.”

Although this time can be disregarded, the regulation warns that your records should reflect the hours worked as accurately as possible. Making regular changes to timecards may create the impression that the company is “shorting” the employees or unlawfully trying to avoid paying overtime. Note that the regulation applies to employees who “voluntarily” arrive early or leave late, and “do not engage in work.” Obviously, if the employees are required to arrive at a particular time (or if they voluntarily arrive early, but actually start working) you still have to pay for that time.


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The Importance of a Properly Written Job Description The job description is the formal written documentation produced from the job analysis, and from consulting those employees doing the job and their supervisors. A properly written job description brings a level of consistency to candidate screening, recruiting and hiring. Job descriptions also help the candidates applying to understand the scope of the position. Employees know what to expect of the job and what the job expects of them. Also, in the case of employee turnover, or when there is an increase in business, organizations that have developed job descriptions can quickly replace or hire additional workers. HR can also use job descriptions in reviewing an employee’s job performance during the appraisal process. Staffing and career planning are also simplified by using standard format job descriptions. Conveying job expectations and requirements in a written job description can assist in attracting qualified and interested candidates. Larger employers benefit from having job descriptions when they need to standardize job functions across multiple locations and throughout the organization. Also, some employers will have unique job titles that are specific to their industries, while others will have many job titles that are extremely similar, such as organizations with numerous clerical and administrative positions. For assistance developing job descriptions, contact the MBA’s HR team at

Stacey Bruce, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is the director of HR Services at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact her at, 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660.

EVENTS & EXTRAS | NETWORKING & MORE The Manufacturer & Business Association, in conjunction with its Business Magazine, recently launched its IMPACT luncheon series on June 14 at the MBA Conference Center in Erie. The kickoff luncheon featured success strategies for a world-class internship program, with speakers from American Turned Products, as well as Edinboro University, Gannon University, Mercyhurst University and Penn State Behrend. See exclusive photo coverage at or! the Business Magazine, Association, in conjunction with Center in Erie. The The Manufacturer & Business on June 14 at the MBA Conference held its first IMPAC T Luncheon -class internship program. topic was how to establish a world

The IMPACT Luncheon is a series of informational events presented by the Business Magazine. The magazine staff includes: Account Executive Frank Mehler, Web Administrator Casey Naylon, Executive Editor Karen Torres and Graphic Designer Christine DeSantis. Not pictured: Account Executive David Thornburg.

Panelists Courtney Steding from Penn State Behrend, Heather Balas from Mercyhurst University, Monica Clem from Edinboro University and Brian Collingwood from Gannon University answer questions regarding internships.

Harry Eighmy, co-owner and chief operating officer of American Turned Produ cts and immediate past chairman of the Manufacturer & Business Association Board of Governors, shares his company’s experience with interns.

for employers to contact A new webpage is now available internships at all four Erie area universities about /internships.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. strives to make the community a better place to live by supporting many civic and charitable organizations through personal involvement and financial contributions. This commitment is firm-wide and ranges from coaching little league to leading nonprofit boards. Knox Law applauds community organizations. The legacy of our region will live on for generations to come due to their passion, traditions and service.

Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights • Business & Tax • Elder Law Environmental Law • Estate Planning & Administration • Governmental Practice Health Law • Intellectual Property & Technology • Labor & Employment Litigation • Public Finance & Bonds • Real Estate • Workers’ Compensation

Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. Erie, PA | Jamestown, NY | North East, PA 814-459-2800 | • JULY 2018



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July 2018 Business Magazine  

The charitable bike week marks its 12th year with Erie Insurance as its new title sponsor and some unforgettable grand marshal moments.

July 2018 Business Magazine  

The charitable bike week marks its 12th year with Erie Insurance as its new title sponsor and some unforgettable grand marshal moments.