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An Invitation to Professional Women:

Research shows that many women self-select out of leadership positions because they don’t feel they have the qualifications or skills to succeed. Our Women in Leadership course is specifically designed to address the skills and knowledge that professional women need to enter these key positions. This session includes a lunchtime roundtable with fellow participants to apply networking skills and discuss questions relating to leadership. The program focuses on (6) modules: 1. Defining leadership 2. Communication 3. Negotiation

4. Conflict 5. Inspiration and influence 6. Goal setting and balance

By the end of this session you will:  Understand why women’s leadership skills are valued.  Learn your communication style and develop skills to better communicate with those who you lead.  Apply knowledge in networking and communication during a lunchtime roundtable with fellow participants.  Understand how negotiation plays a large role in leadership and further refine your skills.  Discover strategies to dealing with difficult people and managing conflict.  Learn how to inspire those you lead and influence change from wherever you are in the organization.  Construct a personal goal plan to help facilitate a more balanced life. Instructor: Meghan Waskiewicz has taught traditional and adult students for the last decade at the Manufacturer & Business Association and

formally at Mercyhurst University where she served as assistant professor and chair of the Communication Department. She has worked in the areas of marketing, communication and leadership within a variety of industries including health care, government, politics and education. She now serves as the Executive Assistant at Grace Church and a partner at The Waskey Group. Waskiewicz holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations, a master’s degree in organizational leadership and is completing a doctorate in organizational learning and leadership.




8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


$235 member, $285 nonmember (lunch included)


Manufacturer & Business Association Conference Center 2171 West 38th Street at Pittsburgh Avenue, Erie

Registration: Call Terry at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660, or visit

Blue Ocean Strategy Center

Cancellation/No-Show Policy: If notice is four business days or more, a full refund will be made. If notice is less than four business days, or if you do not show up for the scheduled class, no refund will be made. NOTE: You may substitute another individual from your organization at any time and at no cost.







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Celebrating women in leadership



WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP Where the journey starts




How the Gannon SBDC’s annual Women in Leadership Development Conference is helping current and future leaders navigate their leadership journey.






















Executive Editor & Senior Writer Karen Torres Contributing Writers Kayla Despenes Michael Parkinson, M.D.

Cover Photography Additional Photography Casey Naylon E.J. Morris

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


Design, Production & Printing Printing Concepts Inc.

How an executive action to disclose pay data by gender would impact large employers. Kayla Despenes


Advertising Sales David Thornburg 814/833-3200


on helping women in business navigate their leadership journey on April 20 at the Ambassador Banquet & Conferencez Center in Erie. For full story, see page 4. 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

Why companies need to develop a “culture of health.” Michael Parkinson, M.D.


On the Cover: The Gannon SBDC’s 9th annual Women in Leadership Development (WILD) Conference focuses

Mission Statement: The Manufacturer & Business

What the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (LECOM) provost, vice president and dean of academic affairs is saying about the rising number of women in the medical field and LECOM’s role in advancing their education. Silvia Ferretti, D.O.

Angela Zaydon, the Association’s state government relations representative in Harrisburg, discusses why Pennsylvania’s businesses have been taxed enough. Read more about PA taxes in our exclusive CEO/CFO Soundoff blog!

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

© Copyright 2016 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. • APRIL 2016


Front Row: Brenda Shaffer, HeliciaRow: Sonney, Erin Shaffer, Mehler Front Brenda Helicia Sonney, Mehler Middle Row: AbbyErin Williams, Kelly Buck, Kim Coleman, Julie Martin Middle Row: Abby Williams, Kelly Buck, Coleman, Julie Martin BackKim Row: Amy Herrmann, Carla Lorel Swanson BackHiggins, Row: Amy Herrmann, Carla Higgins, Lorel Swanson

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Leading Leading the the way way for for 10 10 years years As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we extend our gratitude to As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we extend our gratitude to the dedicated women of ERIEBANK, who continue to lead the way the dedicated women of ERIEBANK, who continue to lead the way throughout our organization and community by establishing and throughout our organization and community by establishing and continually redefining the way banking should be. continually redefining the way banking should be.


Women in Leadership WHERE THE JOURNEY STARTS Although women have made inroads into top leadership positions in corporate America, there is progress to be made. Statistics show women make up 5 percent of CEOs in the nation’s Fortune 500 companies and 17 percent of corporate board members. Yet, new research shows that having women in the highest corporate offices is correlated with increased profitability. So what can employers do to encourage more women to pursue such key leadership roles?


According to the 2015 KPMG Women’s Leadership Survey, three-quarters of women surveyed expressed the desire to have learned more about leadership while growing up, as well as having more opportunities to practice leadership. When asked what training and development skills were needed to help move more women into leadership roles in the future, respondents cited leadership training (57 percent), confidence building (56 percent), decision-making (48 percent), networking (47 percent) and critical thinking (46 percent) most often. Of those surveyed, professional working women believe it is critical for companies to support a woman’s development in her 20s (80 percent) and career advancement in her 30s (61 percent).


According to the KPMG study, confidence is an attribute most essential to leadership success. The lack of confidence affects an array of other activities tied to ultimately becoming leaders: nine in 10 women said they do not feel confident asking for sponsors (92 percent), with large numbers also lacking

confidence seeking mentors (79 percent), asking for access to senior leadership (76 percent), pursuing a job opportunity beyond their experience (73 percent), asking for a career path plan (69 percent), requesting a promotion (65 percent), raise (61 percent) or a new role or position (56 percent).


Indeed, networking and mentoring play critical roles in a woman’s professional development. According to KPMG’s research, two-thirds of women said they have learned the most important lessons about leadership from other women. In addition, 82 percent of working women believe access to, and networking with, female leaders will help them advance in their career.

from WILD keynote speaker and U.S. SBA Regional Administrator Natalia OlsonUrtecho on the increasing number of women and minority small business owners. We’ll also talk with LECOM’s Silvia Ferretti, D.O., on her own career, the growing number of women in the medical field and the educational opportunities available to them, plus much more. Research shows that many women often self-select out of leadership positions because they don’t feel they have the qualifications or skills to succeed. The Manufacturer & Business Association, for one, offers an exciting and informative Women in Leadership course specifically designed to address the skills and knowledge that professional women need to enter these key positions. Visit to learn more!


In this edition of the Business Magazine, we’ll highlight the Gannon SBDC’s 9th annual Women in Leadership Development (WILD) Conference on April 20 in Erie and hear

Unlock Your Organization’s Leadership Potential! • APRIL 2016


Navigating the Leadership Journey The face of entrepreneurship is changing — and, especially, in the world of small business. According to a 2015 report by the Institute of Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), there has been a steady rise in the number of women-owned businesses than ever before. About 29 percent of America’s business owners are women, up from 26 percent in 1997. The number of women-owned firms has grown 68 percent since 2007, compared with 47 percent for all businesses. For minority women, such progress has been particularly swift, with business ownership soaring by 265 percent since 1997. Research shows minorities now make up one in three female-owned businesses, up from only one in six less than two decades ago. As founder, president and CEO of the Ecolibrium Group (EG), a strategic environmental consulting firm in Philadelphia, and regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Natalia Olson-Urtecho is one example of such success. Recognized by the Maryland Natalia Olson-Urtecho Hispanic Business Conference as a “Latina Powerhouse,” she was one of the Delaware Valley’s “Most Influential Latinos” in 2014 and winner of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2010 Minority Business Leader Award. “It turns out Latina women-owned businesses are actually the fastest-growing percentages within minority-owned


APRIL 2016 •

companies,” she says, “and I think it’s because they’ve been able to think in an entrepreneurial way, but not until lately have they had better resources to do so.” As keynote speaker for the ninth annual Women in Leadership Development (WILD) Conference on April 20 at the Ambassador Banquet & Conference Center in Erie, Olson-Urtecho will share her professional journey as a woman business leader and the success stories of others. She also will address what the SBA is doing to help America’s small businesses — particularly women-owned businesses — thrive through its capital, counseling and contracting programs. “Many women rely on personal savings and often don’t realize that they can apply for business credit,” says Olson-Urtecho, of the importance of the SBA counseling programs. “We are trying to make sure that a person who starts a company has some assistance to continue.” In her role at the SBA, Olson-Urtecho is responsible for delivery and management of small business programs, financial assistance and business development initiatives throughout the mid-Atlantic region. She oversees more than 180 SBA offices, SCORE chapters, Business Development Centers and other resources while managing a field staff of more than 100 loan, business, community outreach specialists and support personnel. Olson-Urtecho works with local lenders and firms across the region, overseeing more than $34.2 billion in federal government contracts for goods and services purchased from local entrepreneurs. Twenty-three percent of

everything the U.S. government buys is from small, veteran-owned, women and minority-owned companies to give them a better advantage. According to Olson-Urtecho, one of the many success stories in northwest Pennsylvania is Provider Resources, Inc. owned by Shawn Keough-Hartz. The company initially had seven employees and joined the SBA 8(a) program as a certified woman-owned business. The company, which graduated from the program in March 2016, now has more than 200 employees and has handled $32 million in federal contracting work. “Those government contracts, especially in our region, are key,” says Olson-Urtecho. “I’ve seen companies grow within a couple years from a few employees to a hundred employees with a government contract... Apple, Intel, Qualcomm, those are companies that started with our SBIR grant program or SBIC program.” The SBA is constantly looking for new ways to assist the business community. In 2016, the agency is promoting efforts such as LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital), an online matchmaking service pairing lenders with prospective borrowers, and focusing more on exporting initiatives for small businesses. The SBA and the Office of Women’s Business Ownership also continue to collaborate with many organizations to make resources available to women entrepreneurs.

“As we have been progressing and growing over these last nine years, it truly has come to light of the commonalities of the journey,” says Horne. “So navigating that journey is our theme because we are all on that same path, just how do we get there?” In addition to Olson-Urtecho’s address, the conference will feature several breakout sessions, including a discussion on the “Courage to Lead” by Catherine Datte, director of Gannon’s Center for Teaching and Excellence. Manufacturer & Business Association Training specialist Lisa DeFilippo also will present on fine-tuning effective communication with others. The discussion will focus on how to interact with the four different personality types, how to improve your listening skills and deal with difficult personalities. “In order to navigate through one’s leadership journey,” says Horne, “it’s important to have those skills to move forward.” To register or learn more about the 2016 WILD Conference, visit

2016 Legacy Award

This year’s Legacy Award is being presented posthumously to Melanie Johnson. Despite being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, the 43-year-old worked relentlessly to better the local community until her passing on December 4, 2015.

“We have the Women Business Centers that we’ve been able to grow in the last few years,” says Olson-Urtecho. “In my region, we’ve introduced crowd-funding training, since many women are actually very good about trying to do marketing in an online presence.” In fact, the SBA is trying to get more financing for its microloan program, which provides funds to nonprofit, community-based intermediaries to manage loans of up to $50,000 as well as management and technical assistance. The Small Business Investment Corporation is providing a match amount for investing in underutilized areas, especially those owned by women and minorities. This growing segment of America’s small business leaders, as Olson-Urtecho agrees, will play a key role in the country’s future. “We want them to use their background as something positive,” she says. “They bring a diversity that is an added value.”

Maggie Horne

Maggie Horne, chair of the WILD Steering Committee and director of the Gannon Small Business Development Center, which founded the conference in 2008, says that message coincides with the mission of the WILD Conference, which has been to empower professional and enterprising women with knowledge, energy and passion.

This year, the conference is focused on “Navigating the Leadership Journey” for present and future business leaders.

“Cancer is how we lost her, but that is not who she was,” says Gannon SBDC Director Maggie Horne. “We certainly recognize everything that she gave the community. She could teach a lot of people about patience, networking and virtue. She was just a wonderful lady.” The Legacy Award recognizes an individual who mentors other women, supports the community and excels in her career. The winner is also a trailblazer who has carved her own path to success and has supported other women along the way. She also must demonstrate high standards in all that she does and serves as an example to others both professionally and personally. A well-respected member of the business community, Johnson served as the assistant director of Economic Development at the City of Erie, and previously worked as director for the Governor’s Action Team and the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership. In honor of her work and dedication, the Legacy Award will be presented at the WILD Conference to Johnson’s husband, Wayne, and the couple’s three children Alexa, Zachary and Madeline. • APRIL 2016



Education & Empowerment: Women in Medicine In business today, there is, undoubtedly, no other industry more heavily influenced by women than health care. Research shows that nearly a third of all practicing physicians are women, and they account for more than 60 percent of pediatricians and more than 51 percent of obstetricians/gynecologists. Here, Silvia M. Ferretti, D.O., provost, vice president and dean of academic affairs at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Erie, Pennsylvania, addresses the rising number of women in the medical field. When LECOM opened in 1993, you became the first woman dean of an osteopathic medical college. How would you describe the importance of this accomplishment in your professional career? The phenomenon that happens when you are the “first” woman in your profession to break through a barrier is that you are prompted to bring other women along. Throughout my career, I have been responsible for helping many women who, subsequently, have attained a deanship, whether they were a Ph.D. or a physician, by giving them the confidence to move forward in their careers. More women are turning to careers in medicine — 46 percent of all physicians in training and almost half of all medical students are women, according to an Association of American Medical Colleges analysis. What do you attribute for this rise and why? As a woman of the ‘70s, when I attended medical school, I had 10 women in my class of 200 students. Four years before me, there were five women in the medical school class of 200. I think that many of us from that period of time believed that we were delegated as the leaders to bring more women into the field. This transition began to transpire in the ‘80s. It happened with women believing that more women in the medical field could be of great service to the community. Some specialties such as OB/Gyn, which was a male-dominated field when I went to medical school, are now female-dominated fields. Pediatrics is another. I think the reason for this transition is that a group of women across the nation took active roles, in many ways, to bring more women into the field.

LECOM not only trains future physicians, pharmacists and dentists, but also health-care administrators. Tell us about LECOM’s Masters in Health Services Administration and the career advancement it provides. I believe there are many non-health-care professionals making decisions in the medical workplace. They could be our senators, our government officials, insurance agents and others. However, there is nothing that surpasses the doctor-patient relationship — dentist, pharmacist or physician — which establishes a perfect bond between a patient and their true advocate. I think, ethically and financially, doctors can make the best decisions because they know how to practice medicine and they have their patients’ best interests foremost in their minds. That’s why I highly regard the Masters in Health Services Administration program. Participants learn to use the correct words, know the terminology, know what they are saying and are capable of making good decisions, rather than having someone else dictate what they are to do. This year marks the 9th annual WILD Conference in Erie, which is focused on helping present and future women leaders navigate their career goals. How has LECOM reached out to the students, specifically young girls, to consider pursuing education in the medical field? I am delighted that we continuously present innovative forums. All LECOM faculty, especially female faculty members, in any of the professions, including our Ph.D. faculty, when requested by STEM (science/ technology/ engineering/medicine) schools to talk to students — are always happy to do so.

Our recruitment department has high school advisers and counselors, since we are recruiting at that level. We also provide a weeklong, summer program called MASH (Medical Application in Science and Health) for 10th to 12th graders whereby they are introduced to the basic format of medical school. There is no doubt that the earlier they have an interest in the sciences, the better it is for them to start planning their educational goals. Recently, you helped introduce the next generation of senior living by combining two nursing homes into one facility at the LECOM Senior Living Center. Tell us about your leadership role in this project. My primary role was in the design and building of the Center. Being a caretaker for 21 years for my mother, who passed away at 92 and had many disabilities — one being that she was legally blind, was my inspiration. My family members and I wanted to care for our mother in a familiar place. This sentiment transcended to the goal of the Planning Committee to make a home-like environment for the people whose families couldn’t keep them at home. We adapted the setting that is commonly seen in nursing homes and hospitals and gave it a family friendly atmosphere. We are extremely proud to have established these beautiful residencies for the senior citizens of our community and hope they will be comfortable while in our care. • APRIL 2016



Companies Need to Develop a True ‘Culture of Health’

dependents) in common chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. A `Total’ Approach NIOSH created the national Total Worker Health™ initiative to assist employers in combining their “safety” emphasis (traditionally very prominent in the consciousness of any company’s leadership and management) with their health promotion efforts (historically underappreciated as a contributor to safety and company overall performance).

Michael Parkinson, M.D., is the senior medical director for Health and Productivity for UPMC Health Plan and UPMC WorkPartners, which are both part of the UPMC Insurance Services Division. The UPMC Insurance Services Division offers a full range of insurance programs and products and also includes: UPMC for Life, UPMC for You, UPMC for Kids, Community Care Behavioral Health, LifeSolutions, EBenefit Solutions, and Askesis Development Group. In the workplace, the concepts of health protection and health promotion have long existed side by side. The former places primary focus on worker safety, the latter on worker health. What’s become evident in recent years is that making a distinction between health protection and health promotion is not the best way to optimize either. Companies improve their employee and financial performance when the two perspectives are aligned. To develop a true “culture of health,” a company must integrate employee safety and employee health. Keeping employees healthy is essentially the same thing as keeping them safe.

Understanding Health Protection Health protection traditionally encompasses all aspects of on-the-job worker safety. In recent decades in the United States, through the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), added emphasis has been placed on understanding ways to make the workplace safer. OSHA-reported worker deaths have dropped from 38 per day in 1970 to 12 per day in 2012. Through increased use of risk assessment, safety training, improved protective equipment, better mechanical safety engineering and other factors, worker safety has definitely improved. However, the underlying health status and behaviors of the workers themselves has been overlooked. Understanding Health Promotion Health promotion is an umbrella term for workplace wellness programs, which can assume various forms. Employers introduced worksite health promotion programs to keep employees healthier and to reduce healthcare and productivity related costs. These could include health risk appraisals (HRAs), biometric screenings, employee events such as weight races, the introduction of onsite health coaching, and smoking cessation assistance or weight-loss programs. Health promotion efforts continue to grow among all-sized employers. Large employer health promotion strategies may include onsite clinics, pharmacies and fitness centers, which can be used to promote healthy behaviors and also to treat common illnesses and to better engage employees (and even

According to a study by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, “a growing body of evidence” indicates that there are significant benefits when health and safety policies, practices and programs are integrated within a workplace. Healthier employees are safer employees and vice versa — and both contribute to the bottom-line effectiveness and success of the organization. When wellness programs emphasize correcting workplace hazards, they are likely to get greater acceptance. For example, poor dietary habits, lack of physical activity and obesity all contribute to mental errors at work, higher rates of musculoskeletal disease and disability and workplace safety risks. Healthy behaviors are every bit as relevant to corporate success as a safety harness for job-specific risks. Keys for Success for an Integrated Program Leadership and management should realize — and clearly state in specific terms within their business — how poor health impacts workplace safety and job performance. Engaging teams of employees to identify practical actions to improve health and safety should be solicited. Obtaining the active engagement of management once some actions have been identified is critical. Worker health cannot be addressed solely by reducing workplace hazards (“safety”) nor does it make sense to make individual health paramount (“wellness”) and ignore how work-related demands, stressors and conditions contribute to poor health. A Total Worker Health™ perspective will be required to make our companies and our employees the highest-performing and most successful they both can be. To learn how customized, integrated solutions can help your organization, contact David White, a Sales and Business Development Executive for UPMC WorkPartners at • APRIL 2016



Closing the Gap:

Executive Action Would Require Large Employers to Disclose Pay Data by Gender Kayla Despenes is an associate at MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton, LLP, practicing in the area of litigation and workers’ compensation. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Prior to joining MacDonald Illig, Despenes served as a judicial extern to the Honorable John L. Musmanno of the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

In its most recent effort to close the gender wage gap in the United States, the Obama administration has proposed a new rule that would require large employers to disclose how much they pay their male and female employees. This announcement comes seven years after the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a federal law making it easier for women to challenge discriminatory pay by extending the period of time in which they can file pay discrimination lawsuits. Despite such governmental efforts to eliminate discriminatory pay practices, current statistics show that a stubborn wage gap persists in America, with women earning 79 cents for every dollar earned by men.

The Rule As proposed, the new rule would require companies with 100 or more employees (both private industry and federal contractor) to submit salary data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), broken down by race, gender and ethnicity. According to the administration, the proposal would cover more than 63 million U.S. workers. The Goal According to the EEOC, the aim of this latest regulatory effort is twofold: to assist the agency in identifying pay gaps and to assist employers in evaluating their pay practices. Ultimately, the government would use this information to target employers who are engaging in gender discrimination and to determine where it will focus its enforcement efforts.

The Logistics The EEOC predicts that the administrative burden of gathering this compensation data should be relatively light because it builds on the existing Employer Information Report (EEO-1). Currently, employers with 100 or more employees provide demographic information on the race, gender and ethnicity of employees by completing their annual EEO-1 form. The new rule would require employers to include salary and pay information in the report they already file. As explained by the EEOC, the revised report would collect data on employees’ W-2 earnings and hours worked, which EEO-1 filers already maintain in the ordinary course of business. This W-2 pay information would be reported in “pay bands,” meaning that affected employers would tally and report the number of employees whose W-2 pay for 12 months was in each pay band. In order to protect confidentiality, employers would not report individual pay or salaries. The Timeline A draft of the proposed revisions is available for inspection and public comment from February 1, 2016 to April 2016. The EEOC Chair has stated that she anticipates the rulemaking process to be completed by September 2016, when the new rules would officially go into effect. If the rulemaking proceeds as scheduled, employers would be required to submit their pay data beginning in September 2017. The Game Plan Although the first submission deadline may seem far off, it is advisable for affected employers to familiarize themselves with the proposed rule now. Businesses should also consider reviewing their current reporting system to determine whether any software upgrades or modifications will be needed in order to facilitate compliance with the new reporting requirements. To ensure that they are in a good position should this rule go into effect as proposed, affected employers also should begin conducting their own gender-specific pay audit. Taking proactive steps to identify any existing disparities in their pay practices will permit employers to determine whether those disparities may be justified by nondiscriminatory explanations and whether they should adopt remedial measures to mitigate potential inequality issues. For more information, contact Kayla Despenes at MacDonald Illig at 814/870-7651 or • APRIL 2016



The 2016 ATHENA PowerLink® Program Awardees are: Claudine Thiem, Claudine’s Consignment, LLC; Genevieve Derose Thompson, Innter Balance Pilates; Elizabeth Freitag, Peninsula Pups Doggie Daycare, Inc.; and, Pamela Bane Turner, Shear Delight Salon and Day Spa. Each of these four awardees will receive an ATHENA PowerLink® Advisory Panel of Business Professionals for 2016. The Advisory Panel works with the business owner for one year, free of charge. The panel, which can include everyone from lawyers and bankers to accountants and marketing professionals, assists each woman with her individual needs to help grow her business. Linda Stevenson, chair of the ATHENA PowerLink® Governing Body, said, “We are delighted to see an increase in the amount of applications and diversity of the program. This is a true testament to the community’s support for our program and our belief that these women have all positioned themselves to move forward to the next level in Erie.”


APRIL 2016 •

From left: Liz Freitag, Claudine Thiem, Genevieve DeRose Thompson and Pam Bane Turner.


According to the ATHENA Leadership Model, the eight tenets of leadership are defined as “Live Authentically, Learn Constantly, Advocate Fiercely, Act Courageously, Foster Collaboration, Build Relationships, Give Back and Celebrate.” One business leader who lives by this model is Tom Kennedy. Kennedy, owner of Erie’s Renaissance Centre, is gearing up to be the first person to go over the edge for the Annual Over the Edge (OTE) Erie event on June 15, 2016. He is among more than 60 rappellers who will rappel over 14 stories over Renaissance Centre.

This event benefits Gaudenzia Erie, Inc., which provides services to community members who are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction(s). Kennedy was part of ATHENA Erie since its inception and won the national ATHENA Leadership Award locally for “providing valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.” The first-time rappeller is partnering with Gaudenzia, Erie business owners and Over the Edge USA by donating use of his high-rise building. Canadian-based OTE USA provides rappelling events throughout the United States and Canada. See ad on page 24.


Carl M. Carlotti, has been named president of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, the “Utility” segment of National Fuel Gas Company, succeeding Anna Marie Cellino who retired February 1, 2016. “Carl has managed virtually every functional area of the Utility during his 30-plus years with the company,” said Ronald J. Tanski, president and chief executive officer of National Fuel Gas Company. “Carl will continue our history of strong customer service and commitment to the safe, reliable delivery of low-cost, environmentally advantageous natural gas to our utility customers.” Carlotti joined the company in 1985 and has been senior vice president of the Utility since December 2007 and head of the Utility’s Pennsylvania Division since 1993. Carlotti holds a bachelor of arts in political science from Gannon University and a law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law. Currently, he serves as a board member for the Energy Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, and the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership. National Fuel is an integrated energy company with more than $6 billion in assets invested in the following five operating segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Gathering, Utility, and Energy Marketing.


Marsha Marsh, owner of Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, was recently named chairperson of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership (ERCGP) for 2016.

As chair of the 34-member organization, Marsh will oversee all faucets of the Chamber of Commerce including new membership, sales, engagement and retention. She will continue to support the organization’s core mission of providing the leadership to attract, retain and expand business in the region, as well as to identify key regional initiatives

to promote the economic health of the Erie region. Marsh has been a member of the ERCGP since founding Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services in 2008 and has served on the board for the past four years.

MANUFACTURER & BUSINESS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES TWO PROMOTIONS The Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA), a not-for-profit employers’ association with more than 4,000 member companies in the tri-state region, recently announced two promotions.

In addition to her current leadership role, Marsh served as president of the Greater Erie Board of Realtors (GEBOR) in 2010 and was named REALTOR® of the Year in 2012. She also served on boards for both the United Way and the City Mission and served on the Board of Incorporators for Corry Memorial Hospital and Board of Corporators for UPMC Hamot.

Amy Pontillo has been named manager of IT Systems and Services. In this role, she develops, designs and teaches commercial software and proprietary computer applications. In addition, she manages and maintains the Association’s IT systems and provides training and technical support for all aspects of the Association’s communication systems, including the GoMembers database system.


Dennis D. Ranalli, an Erie, Pennsylvania-based Merrill Lynch adviser, was one of 11 employees recently honored with the 2015 David Brady Award at a ceremony in New York, recognized for his outstanding philanthropy, client focus and overall commitment to his company and community.

Pontillo, who has worked for the MBA for the past 10 years, acts as technical director for all Association special events. Her awards and achievements include the 2013 Aptean Edge Award for GoMembers implementation. She also is the 2015-2016 president of the National AMS Users Group (NAUG) Board of Directors.

The award is named for David Brady, a New York-based financial adviser who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He was highly respected for putting the client first and giving back to his community. The award that bears his name was created in 2007 and seeks to honor individuals within Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management division, which includes Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust. Award recipients were joined by Brady’s family members, senior leaders and past award recipients to hear the inspired stories of this year’s winners — all nominated by their colleagues.

Karen Torres has been named executive editor and senior writer of the MBA’s Business Magazine, the Association’s monthly member business-tobusiness publication for employers located throughout Pennsylvania, northeastern Ohio and southwestern New York. In this role, Torres is responsible for overseeing the magazine’s editorial content and supervises its print and online production, as well as ad sales team. She also manages the Association’s Communications Department and is responsible for writing and editing both internal and external communications.

“David Brady lived the ideal of tirelessly helping clients, his colleagues and community every day of his life. That’s why it is a great honor for me to congratulate those who have the strong dedication to excellence, client service and community that David exemplified, which is embodied in the David Brady Award,” said Dwight Mathis, managing director and MLWM market executive.

Torres, who previously held the position of managing editor and senior writer, has been employed at the Association for 11 years. She has 19 years of publishing experience, which includes her work at the MBA, Advanstar Communications in Cleveland, The Repository (Canton, Ohio) and The Herald (Sharon, Pennsylvania). She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State University (Kent, Ohio).

Ranalli joined Merrill Lynch in 1983. He is a senior vice president and wealth management adviser. He also served as resident manager of the Erie office for seven years. • APRIL 2016



WOMEN IN COMPANY LEADERSHIP TIED TO STRONGER PROFITS, STUDY SAYS The Peterson Institute for International Economics and professional services firm EY recently released a study that reveals a significant correlation between women in leadership and company profitability.

Emotional and Social Intelligence:

The report found that companies with at least 30-percent female leaders had net profit margins up to 6 percentage points higher than companies with no women in the top ranks. A frequently cited 2015 report by McKinsey & Co. found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. The report looked at overall diversity and was limited to 366 public companies across the United States, Canada, Latin America and the U.K. Another report by diversity consultancy firm Catalyst found that Fortune 500 companies with at least three female directors have 42-percent higher return on sales and 53-percent higher return on equity.

ARE EMOTIONS COSTING YOUR BUSINESS MONEY? If you knew emotions were what’s holding you back from increased sales, higher employee morale, increased employee motivation, significant cost savings and more effective leadership, would you want to learn more? Then, read on, because I can nearly guarantee that unless you are managing this area of your business, it’s holding you back. Two decades of research have shown that high levels of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social Intelligence have proven to have positive, quantifiable outcomes in the areas listed above at companies like the U.S. Air Force, American Express and L’Oreal, and in the areas of manufacturing, food and beverage, insurance, retail, health care, and many more. Emotional and Social Intelligence took hold in the mid-’90s when Daniel Goleman published his book, Emotional Intelligence. Of particular interest to businesses are the tangible outcomes

and direct impact on hiring, promoting and developing employees to which they are tied. The good news for businesses is that EQ can be learned and developed. Emotional Intelligence is not just about emotional outbursts at work (e.g., crying or yelling), though that’s part of it. It is comprised of three main areas: emotional awareness, emotional self-control and management. This includes reading nonverbals in others and controlling them in yourself, self awareness of emotions and their effect on performance, communication, conflict management, and, yes, controlling your emotional response.

The new Peterson Institute/EY survey looked at nearly 22,000 public companies across 91 different countries in 2014.

STUDY: TRAINING ESSENTIAL AS MORE WOMEN ASPIRE TO TOP ROLES A majority of women aspire to hold top leadership and board roles but often find it difficult to see themselves as leaders, according to the 2015 KPMG Women’s Leadership Study.

If you’re ready to learn more, plan to attend the Emotional and Social Intelligence training session from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, April 8 at the MBA Conference Center in Erie or call the Association at 814/833-3200 or 800/8152660 for a quote for a personalized business training.

The survey, which polled more than 3,000 professional and college women in the United States, identified confidence building and leadership training, along with the ability to network with women leaders, as key elements to expanding women’s leadership in the years ahead. According to the study, six in 10 women said they aspire to be a senior leader of a company or organization and more than half aspire to serve on a board. But six in 10 also said that they find it hard to see themselves as a leader when sharing how they perceive themselves, and 56 percent of working women said they were more cautious, as women, about taking steps toward leadership roles.

Meghan Waskiewicz has taught traditional and adult students for the last decade at the Manufacturer & Business Association and Mercyhurst University where she served as assistant professor and chair of the Communication Department. She has worked in the areas of marketing, communication and leadership within a variety of industries including health care, government, politics and education. • APRIL 2016


Since 1981, the Gannon University Small Business Development Center has assisted over 10,000 entrepreneurs in Erie, Crawford, Mercer and Warren counties. We are proud to be a part of the only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides high quality one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to empower new and existing businesses.

Are you ready to START, GROW AND PROSPER? WWW.SBDCGANNON.ORG Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

How you need it. When you need it. Where you need it. Considered a leader in professional development and computer training for more than 25 years, the Manufacturer & Business Association offers you the ease and flexibility of onsite training for your group. Onsite Convenience: Nothing beats the convenience of training conducted at your facility. Let our expert instructors bring the training you need, when you need it, where you need it. Customized Programs: From full-day to half-day programs, all of our courses can be tailored to address your organization’s specific needs. Focused Interaction: Facilitated by our training specialists, your employees’ experience is further enhanced through group discussion on key topic areas specific to your company’s work environment. For more information about onsite training programs, call 800/815-2660, 814/833-3200 or visit


APRIL 2016 •




Join us for the MBA’s fourth annual Human Resource & Employment Law Conference! Gather with your fellow human resource professionals from a wide variety of industries and businesses for a full day of interactive sessions, thoughtprovoking information and numerous networking opportunities (breakfast and lunch included). Knowledge is power and this one-day conference delivers! Hear from highly acclaimed keynote speakers on leadership issues and people-management strategies that can transform your organization, as well as the latest updates on labor and employment law, and so much more! For more information or to register, call 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660 or visit



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Contact Judy Rosatti at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or email • APRIL 2016



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APRIL 2016 •

3939 West Ridge Road Suite A200 Erie, PA 16506 (814) 835-8935 | fax: (814) 835-8408

LEGAL Q&A | GET ANSWERS IF OUR EMPLOYEES AGREE TO IT, CAN WE TREAT THEM AS “EXEMPT” EVEN IF THEY DON’T MEET ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT (FLSA)? No. Some employees would rather be classified as “salaried” or “exempt” because this suggests a higher status than an “hourly” position. However, an employee’s choice of being “exempt” or “nonexempt” generally has nothing to do with whether the employee can rightfully be classified as “exempt” from overtime requirements under state and federal law.

‘White Collar’ Overtime Exemptions:

WE HAVE AN EXEMPT EMPLOYEE WHO IS LATE TO EVERY MEETING. CAN WE SUSPEND HER WITHOUT PAY? No. While deductions from the pay of exempt employees may be made for unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days that are imposed in good faith for infractions of workplace conduct rules, the disciplinary deductions must involve serious misconduct (harassment, workplace violence, etc.), tardiness would not be considered serious misconduct. The employer must have a written policy applicable to all employees in order to make such disciplinary deductions.

CHANGES TO FLSA REGULATIONS ON THE HORIZON Two years ago, President Obama signed an executive memorandum directing the U.S. Secretary of Labor to “modernize and streamline” the Department of Labor’s (DOL) “white collar” overtime exemption regulations. Since that time, and after promulgation of the proposed regulations last year, employers have been waiting for final rules to be released so that they know exactly what the amendments will be. Just a few months ago, all indicators pointed to a late 2016 release of the final rules, but now DOL officials said they would likely be published in the summer, which could mean a fall 2016 effective date. While it may be difficult to identify changes that will be required to meet amendments that have not been finalized, with all of the attention that the proposed regulations have received over the past year, employers know enough to start thinking about what may need to be done in order to comply. Employers should identify those exempt employees who do not meet the proposed minimum salary threshold of $51,000 per year (the final minimum salary threshold will most likely be less than this) and determine how many hours those employees normally work. This will allow employers to determine whether it would be better to increase their salaries to the new minimum salary threshold in order to keep them exempt, or to reclassify them as non-exempt. When deciding this point, it is also important for employers to remember that the proposed regulations have the salary threshold tied to an automaticescalator to keep pace with inflation. While the DOL’s proposed rules do not actually change much in the current regulations, other than the minimum salary threshold, employers should also be prepared for potential changes to job duties tests for executive, administrative and professional employees. The DOL did not propose any changes to the current duties tests; however, the DOL did request public comment on whether the duties test should be modified. The result of public comment could potentially impact the final rules. In the interim, employers are encouraged to take a look at their workforce and begin planning for changes now before the rules take effect.

Tammy Lamary-Toman is the employment law counsel for the Manufacturer & Business Association. For more information, contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or • APRIL 2016


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APRIL 2016 • 12/4/15 4:10 PM


Enough Already: Don’t Penalize Pennsylvania’s Businesses With More Punitive Taxes

Angela Zaydon is the state government relations representative for the Manufacturer & Business Association in Harrisburg. Contact her at 717/525-7213, cell 814/460-3136 or at 2016 is a pivotal year in Pennsylvania where we have found ourselves, yet again, to be a presidential battleground state. Over the months, we have seen presidential candidates crisscross our state and, inevitably, this activity will only escalate in the months ahead. In addition, our junior senator, Pat Toomey, a champion of Pennsylvania’s business community, finds himself in a challenging reelection where his positions on the economy, education, taxes, health care and other issues will be tested. In both races, there is no greater issue to Pennsylvania voters than taxes. Pennsylvania’s business community has an obligation this year to urge our elected officials to ensure taxes are reduced, our tax code is simplified, and all sectors throughout our economy are treated equally. In Pennsylvania, our tax climate has suffered in recent years. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation found that our state’s corporate rate ranks second highest among states levying a corporate income tax. Pennsylvania’s state and local corporate income tax collections in 2012 were $168 per person, which ranked 14th highest nationally. This data is indeed dismal and has worsened by the unfair and complicated tax fights our state and country currently face. One example of punitive taxes facing our state is Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed tax on natural gas drillers to 6.5 percent of

production. This tax is intended to bring in revenue for the state, but since the state’s natural gas production has slowed in recent years, this tax would not bring in as much revenue as the governor expects. In proposing this tax, Governor Wolf also has ignored the simple mantra that when you tax something, you get less of it — and that’s exactly what the outcome would be with this natural gas tax. In addition to this state tax facing our natural gas sector, President Barack Obama proposed to levy a new $10 per barrel tax on crude oil as part of the White House’s final budget, which was submitted in February. President Obama and Governor Wolf both evidently believe that everyday taxpayers are not paying enough for gasoline at the pump or enjoying low energy prices a little too much, which might explain their obvious discrimination against this industry. Yet the real victims here are not the oil and gas industry, but Pennsylvania’s middle class, which would be forced to shoulder the burden of nearly $5 more for every trip to the gas station. This proposal would not only negatively affect middle class Pennsylvania motorists, but will further burden Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, which uses gasoline and diesel for operations. Additionally, retailers and shippers in the Keystone State responsible for transporting goods to consumers will also suffer from such a tax.

This tax isn’t the first time Pennsylvania residents have seen the Obama administration attempt to raise punitive taxes on our energy sector. Last fall, Obama and his Senate Democratic allies attempted to repeal tax deductions on the oil and gas industry even though virtually all of the S&P 500 companies take these tax deductions. The Obama administration operated under the false presumption that the industry receives subsidies, but this claim is false. As the National Taxpayers Union has explained, “a subsidy is a direct payment from the government to a corporation with the goal of boosting its prospects. A deduction enables a business to write off its legitimate expenses and calculate its tax liability based on net income.” It is, therefore, irresponsible to penalize this thriving sector of the economy under the allegation they receive subsidies. What’s ultimately needed is comprehensive tax reform. Such reform will help simplify the tax code from the complicated mess it is today, ensure taxpayers spend less on compliance costs, and prevent the government from picking winners and losers with tax policy. The private sector, businesses and manufacturers — the true job creators — need comprehensive tax reform, regulatory reform, energy reform and a stop to out-ofcontrol government spending, so that they can thrive and survive both domestically and in the global market.

See the new CEO/CFO Soundoff Blog CURRENT TOPIC: PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESS TAXES The answer to funding education, transportation, infrastructure and other government obligations is not raising taxes; it’s reducing spending says Michael Weber, president of Smith Provision Co., Inc. Read Weber’s views on PA taxes and how they affect the competition for outside businesses as well as the competitiveness of local firms. • APRIL 2016



2016 Training Graduates The Manufacturer & Business Association recently held a series of luncheons to recognize the more than 100 graduates of its HR, professional development and computer training programs. Visit for complete coverage.

HR Essential Certification Series – Grove City Erin Lindsay, The Arc of Crawford Co., Inc.

HR Essential Certification Series – Erie From left: Martina Gonzales, Erie Insurance, and Manufacturer & Business Association HR specialist Robyn Hopper.

HR Essential Certification Series – Erie

From left: John Stull, LORD Corporation; Shelley Stemple, H & H Aero Inc.; Brenda Leone, Northshore Neurosciences; Lisa Baumgardner, West Main Sales and Service; Cynthia Crosby, Erie Insurance; and, Manufacturer & Business Association HR specialist Robyn Hopper.

HR Essential Certification Series – Grove City

From left: Sean Simon, Rehrig Pacific Company; Bill Brickner, eV Products, Inc;. and, Cynthia Moore, Liberty Electronics, Inc.

Lean – Six Sigma – Erie

Front row, from left: David Dubois, Christine Mahon, Samantha Bratton, Susan Armstrong and Terry McConnell, Erie Insurance. Back row, from left: Kimberly Kaercher, Jeffery Luce, Quinn Bayle, Damon DeVore and Paul Chilcott, Erie Insurance, and Manufacturer & Business Association instructor Ray Davis.

Computer Software Specialists – Erie

HR Essential Certification Series – Erie

From left: Mackenzie O’Connor, The Kahkwa Club, and Manufacturer & Business Association HR specialist Robyn Hopper.


APRIL 2016 •

Front row, from left: Debra French, Ameridrives International; Kelli Beach, Anna Varhola, Heather Crissman and Barbara Spusta, CMI Energy. Second row, from left: Stephen Spacht, Walker Filtration; Laurie Shelhamer, Northwest Savings Bank; Tammy Cass, Summit Township; Kathleen Luper, MFG Tray Co.; Julianne Fails, Modern Industries; and, Miranda Karns, Erie Insurance. Back row, from left: Justin Denham, The Plastek Group; Alicia Esser and Amy Oligeri, Walker Filtration; Brian Beers, Erie Insurance; and, Walt Poff and Tom Woolslayer, Ameridrives International. Not pictured: Eight graduates from six companies.

Leadership for Team Leaders – Erie

Front row, from left: Jakob Mayenshien, TJ Fergus, Devin Williams and Darren Raddysh, Erie Otters. Back row, from left: Patrick Fellows, Dylan Strome, Travis Dermott, Jake Marchment and Nick Betz, Erie Otters.

The Erie Otters recently had 11 players graduate from the Manufacturer & Business Association’s Leadership for Team Leader Series program.

Leadership for Team Leaders – Corry

Front row, from left: Marie Dunnewold, Corry Manufacturing Company; Seth Shreve, Tonnard Manufacturing Corporation; and, David Pernice, Borough of Union City Back row from left: Sharon Zampogna, McCourt Label Cabinet Company; Joe Wallace and Daniel Smith, Superior Tire & Rubber Corporation; Jessica Whiteman, McCourt Label Cabinet Company; James Brocklebank, Anderson Coach & Travel; Paul Maynard, Borough of Union City; and, Bill Collins, Anderson Coach & Travel.

The veteran Otters players participated in the local program, which focuses on building foundations for success, effective communication and problem-solving, and equates to 40 hours of instructor-led training. “Our players participated in these classes to help them learn to become strong leaders,” Otters Head Coach Kris Knoblauch said. “Not just with our team, but in their futures.” The Manufacturer & Business Association has been a leader in professional development training programs for more than 25 years.

Leadership for Team Leaders Series – Erie

Front row, from left: Shane Pfister, Free to Choose Network; Paul Heinemann, Power Drives Inc.; Susan Gable, Ellen Woodward and Cindee Behrendt, Free to Choose Network; and, Richard Tucker, Rehrig Pacific Company. Back row, from left: Gene Kunselman, Power Drives Inc.; Len Juniewicz and Carmine Camillo, Free to Choose Network; Dennis Tech II, Ridg-U-Rak Inc.; Matthew Saloff, Free to Choose Network; and, Andrew Newton and Aaron Falk, Power Drives Inc.

Certified Supervisory Skills Series – Erie

Front row, from left: Mike Gregor and Joe Lowe, Greenleaf Corporation, and John Waterman, MFG Tray. Back row, from left: Kurt Sturzebecher, Greenleaf Corporation; and Michael Smith and Anthony Adair, C&J Industries.

Certified Supervisory Skills Series – Erie

Front row, from left: Mark McFeely, Bay Valley Foods; Joe Moorhouse, Saint Mary’s Home of Erie; Frank Bruno III, Warren Steel Products, Inc.; Lynell Krull and Heidi Dreistadt, Quest Diagnostics; Brian Brumett, The Electric Materials; and, Scott Woodell, McInnes Rolled Rings. Back row, from left: Jason Thomas, GeorgeKo Industries; Joseph Cassano, McInnes Rolled Rings; Rick Nagg, Erie Press Systems; Allen Turner, Erie Strayer Company; Pat Sheehan, McInnes Rolled Rings; and, Tomas Reyes, Rehrig Pacific Company.

Certified Supervisory Skills Series – Erie

Front row, from left: Matt Boyd, Ameridrives; Tyler Gorton, Bay Valley Foods; Josh Walmsley, Ryan Vecchi and Steve Baird, J.V. Manufacturing Company, Inc.; and, Eric Yan, Eriez Manufacturing Company. Second row, from left: Teresa Haight, Essentra Components; Craig Wilson, Bay Valley Foods; Doug Alward, HomerWood Hardwood Flooring Co.; Kathie Dzuricky, Erie Community Credit Union; Gergory Lazzara, Ridg-U-Rak; Laraine Winkler, Eriez Manufacturing Company; and, Jennifer Faulkner, Quest Diagnostics. Back row, from left: Ryne Rutkowski, Erie County Dept. of Public Safety; Chad Brockett, HomerWood Hardwood Flooring Co.; Bill Nichols, Erie Regional Airport Authority; Lesley Kavala, U.S. Bulk Transport Inc.; Kale Asp and John Durlin, Erie County Dept., of Public Safety; and, Brian Hartman, American Turned Products.

Certified Supervisory Skills Series – Erie

Front row, from left: Kyle Prall, C & J Industries; Eric Williams, Process and Data Automation; Matt Culver, Erie Forge & Steel; Kim Gustafson, Eriez Manufacturing; Chad Binney, Parker Hannifin; and, Craig Dombrowski, Marquette Savings Bank Back row, from left: Shannon Birch, Parker Hannifin; Mike Kuhn and Zach Stanford, C & J Industries; William Bennett, Erie Forge & Steel; Michael Christensen, Corry Forge Co.; and, Tony Phillips, Parker Hannifin • APRIL 2016


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April 2016 Business Magazine  

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