Business Magazine - October 2022

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What happened in the economy 2022, and what does the economic forecast look like for 2023? What are the real facts and figures behind global, national and local economic trends, and what do the leading economic indicators tell us about the future? Join us for lunch at the MBA’s annual Economic Outlook briefing on Thursday, December 8, as we hear from two of the region’s widely respected economists as they address these timely topics that could impact your organization and more.

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

Oluwaropo A. (Abbey) Omodunbi, Ph.D., is an assistant vice president and senior economist for The PNC Financial Services Group. He is responsible for contributing to PNC’s regional, national and international economic analysis and forecasts, including coverage of metropolitan area economies throughout PNC’s footprint. Omodunbi is frequently cited in international, national, and regional media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, CBS News and MarketWatch. He also regularly appears as a guest on NPR.





Students, educators, business and community leaders will join us at the Bayfront Convention Center for an amazing exhibition of innovation, technology and career opportunities available in today’s manufacturing industry. In the evening, we will welcome a sold-out crowd of business leaders to the region’s premier networking occasion of the year, our 117th Annual Event, featuring keynote speaker George Blankenship, former executive at Tesla, Apple Computer & GAP Inc.


Keynote Speaker George Blankenship MFG Day Crowd
Committed to Service since 1946 KeepAmericaStrong WELD IT! THANK YOU!
behalf of the Manufacturer & Business
we want to thank all our sponsors, exhibitors, partners and guests for making these two big events ONE BIG SUCCESS!


Message from the Chairman

Jana Goodrich, president and CEO of Seaway Mfg. and 2022-2023 chairman of the Manufacturer & Business Association Board of Governors


Making an IMPACT

MBA Business Magazine offers unique learning, networking opportunities for members to connect.


2022-2023 Board of Governors

Meet the MBA’s Board members and Executive Committee.

Tribute John Krahe recognized for longtime service and dedication to MBA.

19 Anthem Arist Returns

Joe Everson to perform National Anthem while painting at 117th Annual Event.


Staying Ahead of the Game

117th Annual Event Keynote Speaker George Blankenship on transforming companies for the future through innovation.

Featured Companies

Davevic 14 Highmark 38


MBA Certificate Series

Association's training programs provide comprehensive learning opportunities.


2022 MFG Day

9th annual Manufacturing Day celebrates industry, technology and education.

60 MBA Staff

An innovative approach to member services.

50 MFG Day Showcase

Get a closer look at the organizations that are supporting MFG Day 2022.

Read Around the World!

For the most current Business Magazine updates, visit, fan us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on LinkedIn!

Company Profiles

Betts Industries 41 Hoffman Industrial 7 Industrial Sales and Manufacturing 65 ITW Tax 21 ParkerLORD 55 Ridg-U-Rak, Inc. 5

In Memoriam

Association pays tribute to longtime plastic industry leaders Joe Prischak of The Plastek Group and Bill Witkowski of Erie Plastics.

67 Professional Listings

See who’s who in business and industry.

© Copyright 2022 by the Manufacturer & Business Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial, pictorial or adver tisements created for use in the Business Magazine, in any manner, without written permission from the publisher, is prohibited. Unsolicit ed 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.

“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 Executive Editor and Senior Writer Karen Torres Photography George Blankenship Washington Speakers Bureau Design, Production & Printing Printing Concepts Inc. Advertising Sales Frank Mehler 814/833-3200 Chris Peterson 814/833-3200
MAKING AN IMPACT BUSINESSBUSINESSBUSINESS MBA CERTIFICATE SERIES educators and community leaders from the 9th Annual Manufacturing Day Celebrates Industry, Technology and EducationSeize the Bay! square feet of combined meeting space 49 Cost-Saving Strategies and Exceptional Customer Service Yield Lasting Results
AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO MEMBER SERVICES Krahe Recognized for Longtime Service, Dedication to MBA COMPANY PROFILE More than 75 Years of Excellence in Serving the Storage Rack Market ASSOCIATION PAYS TRIBUTE TO PLASTICS INDUSTRY LEADERS PRISCHAK AND WITKOWSKI The Plastek Group and “Joe and Bill were instrumental as leaders in their industries but also champions of plastics education our region,” said from Conneautville High School 1949. From 1949 to October 1956, he was employed by The Erie Engineering and Technology program Penn State Behrend University. He was instrumental starting up an identical Dennis Prischak, president The Plastek Group, shared his thoughts about his father’s lasting legacy that guided him most respected plastics industry leaders. Witkowski passed away December 2021. He was 78. Harborcreek, Pennsylvania, 1953 and Witkowski started working there in 1957. CEO, he oversaw engineers from Penn State over the years. over the years was Bill’s fearlessness to tackle new ways meet the customer’s needs. That got into extrusion and Electronics Design & Manufacturing Expertise in our Expanded Lake City Facility! Lake City, PA 16423 814.877.5658 Founded 1958, AirBorn began manufacturing electronic connectors for the military LOGISTICS NONPROFIT OCTOBER 2022 2022 Annual Report 117th Annual Event Keynote Speaker GEORGE BLANKENSHIP: STAYING AHEAD OF THE GAME TRANSFORMING COMPANIES FOR THE FUTURE THROUGH INNOVATION PAGE 22 PLUS: ANTHEM ARTIST JOE EVERSON RETURNS TO MBA ANNUAL EVENT PAGE XX MFG DAY SHOWCASE / PAGE XX 2022 Annual Report GEORGE BLANKENSHIP: OCTOBER 2022


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2022-2023 MESSAGE


Dear Members:

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your 2022-2023 chairman of the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA). I am honored to be a part of the MBA’s Board of Governors as we continue our proud history of serving the tri-state business community. At the MBA, your success is our success, and that is why we are always looking for new and better ways to assist your operations in navigating the challenges of a complex business world.

Our mission is simple: “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.”

At the MBA, you can be confident that every decision is made with you, our members, in mind and of the added value our programs and services we'll provide to your organizations — everything from comprehensive HR and legal support, exclusive HR services and products, professional development and computer training, competitive group insurance, expert logistics services, reduced energy costs, premium meeting space, timely legislative information, thoughtprovoking business news, and much more.

Always know that our Board and pro fessional staff are looking for new and innovative ways to improve these prod ucts and services, as well as expand and enhance our many briefings and networking opportunities.

Great programs are always happening at our Conference Center in Erie, and we continue to add more regional events, especially in our Pittsburgh Office. We also continue to offer in-person and virtual options for our

programs, giving our members greater flexibility when it comes to hearing from engaging speakers or staying cur rent with the latest training courses.

One of the biggest changes at the MBA this year has been in our executive leadership. We’d like to acknowledge and thank John Krahe for his many years of service and contributions to the Association and in making this year’s Annual Event and Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) a smashing success. We are also extremely appreciative of the hard work and dedication shared by Interim President and CEO Lori Joint, who I know is determined to implement exciting strategic initiatives that will enhance your membership and positively position the Association for the future.

As every business owner knows, change is constant and necessary to stay competitive. No one knows that better than our 2022 Annual Event keynote speaker George Blankenship. As you will learn in this year’s Annual Report, Blankenship is a former business executive and has been a

“behind the scenes” playmaker at such innovative companies as Apple and Tesla, and has some interesting thoughts on what makes the best organizations stand out from the competition — a message we’ll all want to hear!

In addition, I believe you’ll be equally excited to learn that we are bringing back artist Joe Everson to perform the National Anthem for the Annual Event. Everson is an incredible painter and his performance is one that you won’t soon forget.

Thank you again to all of our sponsors and supporters who make our MFG Day celebration and Annual Event the phenomenal programs they are. We are fortunate to have you as partners, and we look forward to another incredible event and an exciting year to follow!


Jana Goodrich, MBA Board Chairman

Jana Goodrich is chairman of the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) Board of Governors and president and chief executive officer of Seaway Manufacturing in Erie, which manufactures and sells premium replacement windows, patio doors, and sunrooms through specialty home improvement dealers in 21 states. For more information about Seaway, visit



120 South Lake Street North East, PA 16428

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

John B. Pellegrino Sr., P.E. , president and CEO

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

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


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



Eriez designs, manufactures, and markets industrial equipment that separates metal. Our equipment removes dangerous metal contamination from food processing lines, concentrates desirable minerals in mining applications, recovers valuable metals in recycling operations, and much more. We drive revenue for our customers and protect their brand.

Proudly founded in Erie in 1942, Eriez is now a global force with nearly 1,000 employees in 13 subsidiaries on 6 continents

Hoffman Industrial Co., Starlite Group Inc. Ready for Your Next Industrial Project

Hoffman Industrial Co. continues to grow and expand its business and services. In 2020, the company merged with Starlite Group Inc.

Hoffman Industrial Co.

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

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

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

Starlite Group Inc.

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

and retrofitting services include mills, lathes, grinders, partial and complete overhauls, Bridgeport head rebuilding, repainting or custom painting, mechanical and electrical repairs and emergency services.

Hoffman Industrial Company

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

Starlite Group Inc.

246 Race Street Meadville, PA 16335


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

Hoffman Industrial Co./Starlite Group Inc. The combined company plans to expand its customer base and marketing reach offering the following services:

• Rigging/Machinery Moving Millwrighting Repair, rebuild service of all brands of machine tools

• Electrical

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

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

• Project Management • Warehousing • U.S. distributor of OX Self Propelled Trolley • Contract machine maintenance Art Hammond is the president and owner of Hoffman Industrial Co./Starlite Group Inc. OCTOBER 2022

Business Banking

At Marquette Savings Bank, we’ve partnered with dozens of new business banking customers just in the past year. And to maintain that personal, hometown touch we’re known for, our team continues to grow.

“The unpresented growth that we have experienced is an indicator of the level of trust local businesses put in us,” says Matt Zonno, executive vice president of business banking. “They appreciate a bank that acts like a partner, invests in relationships with its customers, and works with them even through periods of adversity — that’s exactly what they find here at Marquette.”

That’s Built on Trust. Talk with us at 814-314-8214 . Or visit to learn more.




In the business community, the Manufacturer & Business Association has long been a vital resource to keep up with the timely news and issues affecting their operations. From legislative luncheons and HR roundtables to Eggs ‘n’ Issues briefings and member engagement webinars, the MBA has led the way in keeping members engaged and informed.

That’s why in 2018, the Business Magazine, the MBA’s premier member publication, embarked on offering a series of new, unique learning and networking opportunities for members known as IMPACT.

“We recognize that employers have a powerful influence on not only their operations, but their workforce, community and economy,” explains MBA Business Magazine Executive Editor Karen Torres. “The idea behind these events was to give more attention to these key areas where our members want to have a greater impact.”

10 OCTOBER 2022 •

Held three times a year, the IMPACT luncheons focus on the developing rising stars and current leaders through Women in Leadership; the Economic Outlook as it relates to the local, state and national economy; as well as Nonprofit and Charitable Giving, highlighting the nonprofit organizations in the region and the benefits for businesses to get involved and give back.

Just this past July, the Nonprofit IMPACT Luncheon added a volunteer fair. The event connected employers with 14 nonprofit organizations and their volunteer opportunities, and gave them another tool for employee engagement, team building and a way to attract potential jobseekers who want to be part of a company that is actively involved in the community.

“We are always looking for ways to assist our members,” says Torres. “That’s why IMPACT has been so well received.”

As the speaker for the 2021 IMPACT Luncheon, Ann Scott, community outreach manager for Erie Insurance, understands the value of such offerings, specifically Women in Leadership. “Events like these are important because they highlight the achievements of women leaders, showcase role models and offer tips and advice to emerging women leaders, offer opportunities to network, and include all leaders (including men) in the broader discussion of leadership which all professionals need to continue to develop in,” she says.

Scott describes her IMPACT experience as overwhelmingly positive. “From the moment the Business Magazine team reached out to invite me to speak, they were extremely helpful. They offered advice on choosing a topic and helped me prepare for the prepresentation teaser. I was also interviewed for and featured in the MBA magazine and the Business Magazine team was very helpful for that experience as well.”

Although Scott’s presentation was delayed several times due to COVID, the Business Magazine team stayed in touch, keeping her informed and up to date on any program changes. “I felt wellprepared and set up for success at every step. The day of the event couldn’t have gone smoother,” she says, adding, “I’ve attended several even when I was not a speaker and found them to be valuable and applicable to my professional development.”

Ken Louie, Ph.D., director of the Economic Research Institute of Erie (ERIE) and associate professor of economics at the Black School of Business at Penn State Behrend, sees the importance of such briefings on an economic level. “In a world of uncertainty, one important key to business success is understanding the trajectory of major economic trends,” he says. “Forums such as the Manufacturer & Business Association’s IMPACT events, including the annual Economic Outlook, are crucial to engage local business leaders with timely and accurate information on the current and future state of the regional economy that will empower them to make more effective managerial decisions.”

As a frequent speaker at the annual Economic Outlook IMPACT event, Louie says the experience has been invaluable for him and attendees. “I am honored to be part of the IMPACT series as a keynote speaker so that I can share some of the research we conduct at the Economic Research Institute of Erie at Penn State Behrend with business leaders throughout our region. I am always glad to see that our economic research can contribute to a better understanding of the Erie regional economy as well as lead to more informed and impactful decision-making that will foster greater prosperity in our community,” he says.

Louie is already looking forward to this year’s Economic Outlook Luncheon on December 8 at the MBA Conference Center in Erie. “I highly recommend the IMPACT events to anyone who wants to understand the most important business and economic trends

that affect the Northwestern Pennsylvania region,” he says. “This is a vital and dynamic part of the Commonwealth, and the IMPACT series of events can provide invaluable information and insights that will contribute to business success in the region.”

Adrienne Dixon, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, also views the IMPACT event as a worthwhile program. As a 2022 Women in Leadership IMPACT speaker, she addressed the timely topic of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) in today’s work world. “As I reflect back on my experience, presenting it was a humble reminder that I was able to share my journey and provide understanding of key DEI issues relevant to women of color and their success in leadership,” she says. “I’m also grateful to highlight solutions as well as broaden others' outlook.”

Dixon says hearing firsthand from experts can give employers a unique perspective. “The IMPACT forum is a critical platform that reinforces and reassures attendees regarding their profession but also provides world-class speakers who inspire vision and purpose,” she says.

Dixon recommends the IMPACT events to anyone looking for information and engagement. “This forum gives the opportunity to draw on a wide base of knowledge from experts in their area, as well as their unique perspective, inspiring attendees with their authentic passion, and drive based on their journey,” she says.

To learn more about upcoming IMPACT events, visit or the Business Magazine website at

We Cover the Business World

The Business Magazine is a monthly publication of the Manufacturer & Business Association, which covers the most compelling human resource, legal and legislative issues facing employers today. As the premier monthly business-to-business publication in the tri-state region, the Business Magazine serves as a critical information tool for employers located throughout northwest Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

Each month, the publication highlights an in-depth member company story, as well as health, legal, financial and technical articles written by industry experts and the latest information on employee relations, legislation and regulations, health and safety issues, and local company announcements. To learn more, visit

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Cost-Saving Strategies and Exceptional Customer Service Yield Lasting Results

For more than 30 years, Davevic Benefit Consultants, Inc., has provided creative cost-saving strategies for employee benefits, cutting-edge technology and personalized support to its clients across the country.

Davevic Benefit Consultants, a full-service benefit consulting agency, was founded in 1988 by Bill Gordon and established a home base in Grove City, Pennsylvania.

Bill’s son David joined the team in 1994 and is currently the president. In 2020, Matt Gordon joined the business, becoming the third generation to lead Davevic. Matt has since become the vice president. This family owned company has grown over the years by adding highly competent and professional team members. Additional members of the leadership team include Mike Johnson, senior benefit consultant and director of Individual Insurance Services, and Adam Seger, senior benefit consultant and director of Compliance. Carol Kaufman, senior benefit consultant and director of Ancillary Benefits, and Michael Baer, senior benefit consultant for the Pittsburgh area, are also key members of the Davevic team. The staff’s professionalism and dedicated customer service has played a large part in the agency’s growth over the years.

“When you call Davevic, you are able to talk directly to a team member who will go above and beyond to assist you,” states President David Gordon. Davevic continues to service

its clients by providing “Your One-Stop Shop for Employee Benefits, Medicare and Individual Coverages." Carol Hughes, office manager, and Laura Connell, small business manager, are instrumental in making Davevic run so efficiently day in and day out.

Davevic’s client base has consistently grown and been retained over the years thanks to a knowledgeable and custom oriented staff and through offering products and services that meet the individual needs of the client.

According to David Gordon, “We found a way to efficiently service our clients and make sure they’re on the cutting edge with all the services that we offer to produce a benefits package that’s not only cost effective, but that also can help attract and retain their employees. That’s what we’ve built here over the last 30 years.”

Davevic reviews the full insurance market year in and year out for its clients, reviewing the fully insured, level funded, and self-funded options that are available. Creative cost-saving strategies for clients could include implementing a Health Reimbursement Arrangement, Health Savings Account, ICHRA, Defined Contribution Strategy, Claim management tools, and pharmacy manager, just to name a few.

A longstanding dedication to being on the forefront of information and technology in order to best serve the clientele has

allowed Davevic to become one of the largest independent benefit consulting firms in western Pennsylvania. Today, the firm’s client base includes 800 groups, and over 5,000 individual and Medicare clients.

Tailored Products and Services

The products and services that Davevic Benefit Consultants offer to clients are specifically designed to meet the needs of businesses and organizations. Davevic provides a full spectrum of employee benefit solutions in the following areas: HR Services, Benefits Administration, Administration Services, Compliance, Individual Insurance and Insurance Guidance.

Davevic Benefit Consultants is a third generation, family owned firm. Shown here are, front left: Vice President Matt Gordon, founder Bill Gordon and President David Gordon. Davevic Benefit Consultants was founded in 1988 in Grove City, Pennsylvania.
14 OCTOBER 2022 •

Whether it’s an employer looking for group coverage or an individual with questions about Medicare, Davevic’s expertise is to educate and walk clients through their needs. This acute awareness to advances in technology has allowed Davevic to adapt to the ever-changing world while continuing to provide the best and most cost-effective solutions to customers.

“We put together various strategies for our clients to consider, so when we go to meet face to face, we’re not just giving them a spreadsheet, we’re showing them many options,” David Gordon states. Davevic can offer an employer group medical, dental, vision, life, disability, and voluntary/worksite benefits to complete a benefits package.

Davevic utilizes a benefits administration platform called Employee Navigator. It is a benefits administration system that allows employers to better manage their day-to-day operation and to allow employees of a company to have access to their benefits at any point in time. This streamlines and removes the need for paper, while providing the same level of communication to employees no matter where they are located.

Adam Seger, senior benefit consultant and director of Compliance, acknowledges that employer groups have a lot they are trying to manage outside of benefits. “This is where we really differentiate ourselves in that we provide that turnkey solution,” he says. Davevic builds the platform, maintains it year in and year out, and is available for support at any time.

The Employee Navigator tool is great for any type of group, no matter the size or technological skill. Seger explains, “Whether it’s an employer with employees in one location or an employer with 600 employees across 42 different states, it allows all employers to have access to that great technology.”

Providing proactive compliance services is another way that Davevic offers exceptional service and innovative technology to its clients. Compliance services cover areas such as Enrollment Services, COBRA Services, IRS Reporting, Section 125 (HRA, FSA, HSA Administration), Affordable Care Act, ERISA Requirements, and other federal mandates. As a result, Davevic is the back-office for its clients to help comply with the many regulations. David Gordon adds, “To be honest, it’s probably the most important part of our job.” Davevic offers

all of these services out of its Grove City office and does not outsource anything to a third party. Davevic acts as a Third-Party Administrator for services such as COBRA, HRA/FSA/ HSA Administration, as well as Compliance Forms and Plan Document Preparation.

Additionally, Davevic is changing the way companies utilitize HR services with an innovative product called Mineral. Mineral takes the guess work out of HR for companies and provides a multitude of benefits such as an employee handbook builder, courses on topics such as safety, workplace development, HIPAA and cybersecurity. Mineral does the leg work in researching and getting documentation for clients on a variety of HR concerns. Davevic provides this service at no cost, which saves money when clients would otherwise need costly HR services. Davevic Vice President Matt Gordon, adds, “This is a potential time and cost saver for employer groups to get some of those gray area questions answered.”

Medicare is another area where Davevic shines. Mike Johnson, senior benefit consultant and director of Individual Services, explains that the individual benefits department of Davevic is “customer-first priority, unbiased and service oriented.”

“Looking for coverage for your family or a child?” Johnson asks. “Davevic can help ensure you understand your plan options through PENNIE and also perform a subsidy evaluation.”

Medicare clients are offered a variety of educational events that allow them to learn and fully understand their qualifying benefits. This allows clients to come to meetings with Davevic representatives fully informed and empowered in their decision making. Davevic provides this service to the community at large, not just their clients.

At the end of the day, Davevic is so much more than just a benefits solutions company, it’s a family business that cares about providing the best and most upto-date offerings to clients now and for generations to come.

Founded in 1988, Davevic Benefit Consultants, Inc. is a family owned, full-service benefit consulting agency located in Grove City, Pennsylvania. The firm is a one-stop shop for employee benefits, Medicare and individual coverages.

Address: 902 S Center Street Grove City, PA 16127

Phone: 724/458-7255 / 800/854-4099


Davevic provides a full spectrum of employee benefit solutions. Carol Kaufman, senior benefit consultant and director of Ancillary Benefits, and Michael Baer, senior benefit consultant for the Pittsburgh area, are also key members of the Davevic team. Adam Seger is a senior benefit consultant and director of Compliance. Mike Johnson is a senior benefit consultant and director of Individual Services. OCTOBER 2022

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Anthem Artist Returns to MBA Annual Event

In 2019, Joe Everson dazzled guests at the Manufacturer & Business Association’s 114th Annual Event.

But it wasn’t just his amazing rendition of the National Anthem that wowed the crowd.

Everson, who is known as America’s first and only singing, live-action painter, performed the nation’s most sacred song while masterfully creating an oil painting of Statue of Liberty, one of the country’s most treasured landmarks. And to make it even more interesting, he painted Lady Liberty with the canvas upside down.

“It was incredible,” says MBA Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Lori Joint. “Everyone was mesmerized by what they had just witnessed. That is why we are so thrilled that Joe accepted our invitation to perform for us once again.”

Everson, who will appear at the Association’s 117th Annual Event on October 12 in Erie, has always been a bit of a renaissance man — artist, vocalist, musician, and photographer. He had a modest career as a semiprofessional artist before becoming

an Internet sensation.

If fact, when a video of him singing the National Anthem while painting a live-action artwork went viral, Everson skyrocketed to fame. The viral videos now have more than 225 million total views across a variety of social media platforms.

Today, Everson travels the nation performing for professional sports teams, Fortune 500 companies, and celebrities. He has been featured on FOX News, ESPN Sports Center, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, Washington Times, CBS sports, USA Today and Huffington Post, just to name a few.

Much of Everson’s work is centered on figures, and specifically faces. In his Faces of the Past series — or, as he says, “some of my favorite people that I’ve ever been influenced by” — his goal is to convey essence.

One can see that Everson sees something much more dimensional than a canvas when he paints. Using vivid colors and generous brushstrokes, he truly brings forth personality through his art. Before that, a monochromatic style dominated his work.

According to his official biography, one of Everson’s favorite pieces is devoid of color. The portrait is quietly striking, the contrast between dark and light dramatic yet understated.

“Light inspires me,” Everson states. “My grandmother taught me to see everything through light. Light is everything, and I’ve never looked at the world differently.”

Now others can share his inspiration as well.

To learn more about Joe Everson, visit

Joe Everson is America’s First and Only Singing, Live-Action Painter Everson paints Lady Liberty on stage at the MBA’s 2019 Annual Event Joe Everson shows off some of his works in his Greenville, South Carolina studio.

Natural gas has transformed Pennsylvania.

Natural gas has transformed Pennsylvania.

As the nation’s second largest producer of natural gas, Pennsylvania has realized significant benefits from natural gas production. According to industry experts, Pennsylvania’s energy development has contributed more than $78 billion to the state’s economy, provided more than 480,000 family sustaining jobs, generated billions of dollars in royalty payments for landowners and paid more than $2 billion in impact fees for community and environmental programs throughout Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, all while significantly reducing air emissions. National Fuel’s success in reducing methane intensity while substantially growing our business reinforces our commitment to constructing efficient and low-carbon intensity facilities and systems, and our continued focus on reducing the emissions profile of our existing operations.

As the nation’s second largest producer of natural gas, Pennsylvania has realized significant benefits from natural gas production. According to industry experts, Pennsylvania’s energy development has contributed more than $78 billion to the state’s economy, provided more than 480,000 family sustaining jobs, generated billions of dollars in royalty payments for landowners and paid more than $2 billion in impact fees for community and environmental programs throughout Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, all while significantly reducing air emissions. National Fuel’s success in reducing methane intensity while substantially growing our business reinforces our commitment to constructing efficient and low-carbon intensity facilities and systems, and our continued focus on reducing the emissions profile of our existing operations.

With natural gas and manufacturing working together, Pennsylvania’s best days are ahead.

With natural gas and manufacturing working together, Pennsylvania’s best days are ahead.

Creating family sustaining jobs.

Creating family sustaining jobs.

A clean-burning, low-emission source of energy.

A clean-burning, low-emission source of energy.

Attracting business to Pennsylvania.

Attracting business to Pennsylvania.

National Fuel is a proud supporter of the Manufacturer & Business Association.

National Fuel is a proud supporter of the Manufacturer & Business Association.

279 Wyoming Avenue

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Phone: 206/305-2852 or 855/202-5245


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De Leon has more than 10 years of experience in the industry as a tax professional and has grown ITW Tax into one of the area’s most successful firms.

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Estefania Zanetta De Leon is the owner of ITW Tax in Kingston, Pennsylvania. OCTOBER 2022
Former business executive George Blankenship will be the keynote speaker at the Manufacturer & Business Association’s 117th Annual Event on October 12 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of George Blankenship



George Blankenship may not be household name. But more likely than not, you’ll recognize his work.

As a former executive at GAP Inc., Apple Computers and Tesla Motors, Blankenship is widely considered one of the most innovative business leaders of his generation, working alongside such visionaries as Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, re-imaging and redefining the customer experience.

In fact, over his 30-year career, Blankenship has taken a unique approach to how businesses become industry or market leaders — regardless of industry — by focusing more on what can be possible vs. what needs to be done.

Take, for instance, the American automotive and clean energy company Tesla Motors. In his executive roles at Tesla, Blankenship successively served as vice president of design and store development, vice president of worldwide sales and ownership experience, and vice president of worldwide retail. He redefined the car-buying experience, and in turn revolutionized the auto industry. Tesla’s Model S was named the MotorTrend “Car of the Year” in 2013, only a year after its introduction. It was the first electric car to ever receive this recognition.

Before his time at Tesla, Blankenship was known as one of the key players at Apple, where he served as the senior executive of real estate for the technology giant. Recognized as the architect of Apple’s brand-building retail methodology, he formulated and executed one of the most

successful retail growth strategies in history. His international “Smart Growth Hit List” encompassed major cities throughout Asia, Europe and North America. Apple also saw a material, sustained increase in sales, profit and consumer loyalty following Blankenship’s focus on reformulation of the consumer experience, the building of brand awareness, and ongoing accessibility to customers.

Blankenship’s big break started at GAP where he worked his way up to senior executive for real estate strategy at the American retailer. There, Blankenship managed the growth of over 250 stores per year while establishing a forwardthinking retail growth practice unheard of before.

To some, Blankenship’s career may seem like a wild ride — from selling clothes and computers to electric cars. However, his uniquely innovative processes have transformed secure, status quo organizations into dynamic players of the future — compelling many business leaders to want to learn more about the man who worked behind the scenes at some of the world’s biggest brands.

In an exclusive interview with the MBA Business Magazine, Blankenship sat down to share some of his experiences ahead of his keynote address at the Manufacturer & Business Association’s 117th Annual Event. Here, he discusses his insights on leadership, innovation and vision — and how to stay ahead of the game through transformation. His remarks have been edited for space. >

“Leading companies of today and going forward focus on what could be possible.” – George Blankenship OCTOBER 2022

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I've enjoyed embracing companies and sort of being in the background, but still having a significant impact on what the visionary at the head of the company was trying to do. When I was at Apple, I was in a meeting for three hours every Tuesday morning with Steve Jobs where we crafted the customer experience we wanted to have and the design of the stores where they would engage with us. Learning from him was like going to a master class every Tuesday.

Then, I reported directly to Elon Musk for three and a half years. During that time, I got to engage with him on the things he wanted to do, and I was in charge of doing virtually all of the impact engagement with the customer.

So, I don't mind that people don't know my name. But I think they have enjoyed what I have been able to create at the various companies that I've had the incredible opportunity to work with, along with some incredible visionaries.

how they engaged with the store. So, even though I might have been doing something that had nothing to do with the customer, except maybe cleaning up after them, I was being able to watch them and understand how they thought about things, and that's what sort of shaped my career path, just embracing that.

Out of college, I became a photographer, and then I sold lumber for a while, and then I went to work for the GAP. It was my first connection with customers on a daily basis, and I just loved it. I couldn't get enough. I was at work early and stayed late because I just enjoyed it so much.

What I think people can take away from my career path is that my focus never changed. I was able to do what I did in the apparel industry, then in the tech industry, and then in the automotive industry. There's a core set of things that if you do them, they transcend the various industries, and that's what I did. I held to what I thought was important, no matter where I was.

You started as store manager trainee for GAP, but then something interesting happened. You got a bad review about wanting to give more attention to customers, a moment that shifted your career trajectory –and, ultimately, a great career at GAP, then Apple and Tesla. Tell us more.

When I got accepted to the University of Delaware, I was in engineering, and then I changed over to business. While I was there, I was also working at a retail company that I started at in high school. I did a lot of the jobs that nobody wanted to do. I collected the trash. I worked in the shipping department. I worked in the garden department, and I hefted big bags of fertilizer into people's cars. But during that time, I got to watch people. I got to watch how they engaged with the employees and

I started at the GAP in June 1980, and the regional manager (Ray) came and visited our store in early August. He asked Glen, my store manager, "So George was hired as a store manager in training. Is he ready to be a store manager?” And Glen looked at him and said, "Absolutely not. George will never be ready to be a store manager with this company. He spends way too much time with the customers and not enough time maintaining and cleaning the store."

I was like, “Wait a second,” but I didn't say a word. I just sort of sat there and thought, “Why am I here? Aren't we here for the customer?” Then, Ray took me aside and said, "Listen, I'm going to take >

It’s been said that you are the most famous name in retail that people have never heard of. What are your thoughts on this as you reflect on your 30-plus year career as a businessman and influencer?
You and your wife, Andrea, attended the University of Delaware (she graduated in 1973; you dropped out in 1974 to work). What did you envision for your career path back then and how did it change along the way? OCTOBER 2022


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a shot here. I'm going to give you a store today." I got the GAP store at Exton Square Mall (outside Philadelphia), and I went up there and met the employees, and I said, "Listen, I could be right, I could be wrong, but I think we're here for the customers first."

We started waiting on customers, and having fun with customers, and customers having fun with us. And sales went up. Then, sales went up a lot. We started winning contests, and then I was promoted to district manager of Central Pennsylvania area and Eastern Pennsylvania area and did the same thing.

The good news is that I didn't say a word when they said I spent too much time with the customer, but I was able to demonstrate what could happen when you do that. And it worked. I was lucky. I got a chance, and it just sort of blossomed from there. So, I attribute the opportunity I got to exercise what I thought was important to the regional manager who had the insight to go ahead and let me try.

I presented a business plan that sort of sounded like this: "Well, Steve, we're going to go out and get some really expensive real estate. Then, we're going to build a really expensive store and hire a ton of employees. We're going to spend a lot on training and development, and we're not going to try to sell anybody anything. We're going to try to make money on a commodity that has about a 15-percent margin. How does that sound?"

You can't find one analyst inside any company on this planet who is going to say, "That's a good idea." But Steve had a different way of looking at things. He understood that we had to engage with our customers in a different way, and, so it was like, "What do you think we should do?" "Well, I think we should go to places where there's a whole lot of people who are not thinking about buying a computer and let them stumble into our stores. And then we just talk to them, and just tell them who we are and what we do. And they'll eventually want our product." And he was like, "OK, let's go do that."

There’s a quote from Steve Jobs, "You start with the customer first, and then back into the technology." And I took that to heart as I spent time with him on Tuesdays when we were crafting the store design, the customer engagement model that we wanted to have at Apple.

You have to go back to the year 2000 when Apple had a 2.5-percent market share. In some industries, that's really good. Well, the problem for us at Apple was the other guy had 97.5-percent market share, so that presents different challenges, but also opportunities because you can do things that you otherwise wouldn't do.

At Tesla, Blankenship successively served as vice president of design and store development, vice president of worldwide sales and ownership experience, and vice president of worldwide retail.

And that’s what we did. At Tesla, it was the same thing. Tesla was about education as much as anything else. My goal there was what I call “entice, inform and engage.” Entice them to >

At Apple, you helped redefine the Apple buying experience. At Tesla, you did the same with your approach to car buying. What was the greatest lesson you learned from working at these innovation giants?
Photo courtesy of George Blankenship OCTOBER 2022

come into the store. Put our store in a completely different place than there are any auto dealers at all. Do something completely different

With Steve, he hired you to come in and help him do what he wanted to do. Where Elon hired you, and then expected you to do what you were

On the Tuesday meetings with Steve, we would be looking at the design of the store, and we would all have input, but Steve made the decision. So, when you go in an Apple Store to this day, and you look at the tables that the products are on, you'll notice that the leg of the table comes up through the top of the table. That's a unique design. That

Whereas with Elon, when we were designing the stores and getting ready to go through the process of opening the new stores at one of our weekly meetings, I brought in some renderings and said, "This is sort of the direction we're going, what do you think?" And he was like, "Well, is that what it should look like?" And I was like, "Yeah." He said, "OK." And the first time he saw the store design was when he showed up on opening night.

Jobs and Elon Musk?

They both looked at a bigger picture. I mean, when I interviewed with Elon, we met at an airport in a little conference room. Yeah, we talked about Apple, customers, cars and test drives. But what he really wanted to talk about was migrating humanity to sustainable transportation. So, I explained to him how I would do it. We had a really good conversation.

Steve Jobs, again, big vision — vision that comes up with things like the iPod. “Here's 1,000 songs in your pocket.” Wow! “Now, let’s put them on a phone.” Well, Apple's not in the phone business. “Yeah, but let's reinvent it anyway. Let's go just reinvent it.” There's a bigger picture, and they each had a passion for the customer and taking care of the customer. But they both did things slightly differently.

One brought you in to help him do what he wanted to do. The other one brought you in and expected you to do what you were hired for. Differences, but they both had a way of getting you to do stuff that you thought was impossible, and I think that was part of their magic.

What was the best advice they gave you?

Both of them really focused on trying to simplify everything. Just simplify. Because if you simplify things, they're easier to communicate. They're easier for everybody to understand. They're easier for people to execute on when it's clear what you want to do whether it's in the product or the way you get the product to people, or the product itself.

They also both had convictions. Steve said, "We're opening retail stores. We're going to do this. This is what we think we should do.” I had 25 stores committed before the first two opened up. That's called conviction. This wasn't a test. We > OCTOBER 2022

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weren't going to go out and see what we could do. This was we're going to engage with the customer differently.

With Elon, he said, "We've got to migrate humanity to sustainable transportation in order to help save humanity, so we’ve got to do this." It's like, “OK, let's go do this.” There was no turning back.

So, we looked at things we could take out of the store. What can we do to make more room for customer experience, for the Genius Bar, for this and that? We decided, well, let’s put a bigger Genius Bar in to take care of customers and get rid of the cash register, which, in turn, turned into the handheld cash register.

What ended up happening is those seven stores were a failure, and eventually all of them were redone and all of them were relocated into bigger stores — this was tens of millions of dollars of mistake. But 500 Apple Stores have handheld cash registers as a result.

I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but what I learned is you have to celebrate both successes and failures because arguably you learn more from your failures than you do from your successes. If you don't celebrate both, then what happens is a fear of failure creeps in. When you have a fear of failure, then what happens is you get massive amounts of analysis done before any decision can be made, and eventually what happens is you analyze it to the point where it convinces you that this isn't a good idea.

You have to enable things to happen that are different, reaching beyond the normal limits without a fear of failure, and the way you get past that is you celebrate both.

Here’s an example: After we had started opening Apple Stores, some were doing really well, some weren't. But we were committed. What we wanted to do was to be able to go to more places than what was originally planned, so we tested something called the mini store. Our typical stores were about 7,000 square feet, but we tested a mini store — 1,500 square feet. We had conviction behind it because we wanted it to work.

We opened up seven of them at the same time, and within a week we knew they were a mistake. They were wrong. We should not have done this. Because people came in, and we were doing sales like they were a 5,000- to 7,000-square-foot store. But the customer experience was not good. The store was too small; it was a failure.

It’s not that you dwell on the mistake. It's what can you learn from it that could impact in a positive way the future, and that's what we did.

Being a leader in an industry is different today than it was say 20 years ago. If you went back 20 years ago, the companies that were the best at doing what needed to be done were the leaders in their industry. You had to refresh your product on a regular cycle. You had to focus on gross margin, supply chain, employeer turnover and hiring — all the things that need to be done. The companies that were the best at doing led their industry. Think ExxonMobil, the original AT&T, Coca-Cola. Still great companies, but they led their industry back then because they were able to do what needed to be done better than anybody else.

Now you flash forward to today. The companies that lead their industries are the ones that focus on what could be possible. They still have their eye on what needs to be done, and they do >

When it comes to success, those who are the most successful typically have experienced failure along the way. Please share your thoughts.
You are an expert when it comes to how business leaders can cultivate a culture of innovation to keep pace with consumers and demands. In your opinion, what does it take to transform a company — regardless of industry — from status quo market contender to forward-thinking and dynamic player of the future? OCTOBER 2022




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that, but they focus on what could be possible: What could they do for their customer that would differentiate them from others in the industry? What can they look around at the horizon, and what can they see happening that they might be able to put together that could be something different than the way everybody is doing it?

Look at Apple. The music industry went from albums to 8-track tapes, to cassette tapes, to Sony Walkmans. Then, somebody came up and said, "Listen, let’s make an iPod and put 1,000 songs in your pocket, and let's sell them for 99 cents on the web." Wow, that's interesting, and it completely redefined the music industry at a time when the music industry was going downhill fast.

I think the goal I've always set for the customer interaction part of a company is we have to get people to want what we have. Get them to want our product and buy it because they want it, not because they have to. Then, take care of them. One of the things that we did when I was at Apple is we tried to figure out what do we want people to feel like when they leave the store.

What we came up with was this: We want people to know they're important, they'll be taken care of, and we are available to help them. How did we do that? We did that with a Genius Bar. No matter what Apple product you have, no matter where you bought it, you bring it to the Genius Bar, you will be taken care of, and that gives people confidence.

Very funny things happen when you get customers who want your product. Suddenly, they start telling other people how great it is too, and price no longer becomes the driving factor in the decision.

Blankenship helped redefine the car-buying experience, and in turn revolutionized the auto industry. Tesla’s Model S was named the MotorTrend “Car of the Year” in 2013, only a year after its introduction. It was the first electric car to ever receive this recognition.

Innovative companies look around at what's going on and come back with something that would be great for their customers, their clients, and be better with the same technology. I mean all the technology that went into the iPhone was available to everybody. Electric cars have been around for 100 years. Look at what could be possible and that's the difference. Great companies in the past focused on what needed

When your entire industry is shut down, there's not much you can do. But let’s take the automotive industry. The auto industry had done things the same way for 100 years. A manufacturer designs and builds a car. They sell it to a dealer. The dealer then puts it on their lot, and when you come in, they sell you a car. >

to be done. Leading companies of today and going forward focus on what could be possible.
We all know relationships can make or break companies. What is your best advice on building long-term client relationships?
Given your experience, what do you believe determines a good vs. great company today, especially in the post-pandemic era?
Photo courtesy of George Blankenship OCTOBER 2022


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Well, Tesla decided to do it differently. Not have any inventory, and every Tesla is ordered on a computer. If you're in the store, you go over to the computer, you open up an account, you choose which car you want. You choose what color, what wheels, what interior. Do you want full selfdriving? Then, you come to a summary page, and you hit purchase. Everything's done online, and, in a couple months, they call and say, "Come pick up your car."

Well, then the entire world is shut down. Malls are closed. Everybody's closed. Well, what happened? People sat there and bought cars online from Tesla, and Tesla kept building cars. Tesla kept selling cars and delivering them, and Tesla was profitable in Q2 of '20 because they did things in a different way that engaged with people however they wanted to engage. You want to come to a store and buy a car, OK. You want to do it from a hotel room? You want to do it on your phone? You want to do it while you're on safari in Africa and pick it up in Chicago? You can do all these things, and people did.

As we’ve come out of the pandemic, I've been interested to see how different companies have handled things. Yes, there’s a shortage of manpower and supply chain issues. It's real. But here's what I think the key was for great companies: Great companies stood back and looked at the pandemic, and said, "We are disconnected from our customers, but they're going to come back, and what we're going to do when they come back is we're going to let them know that we're happy they're back, and we have been thinking about them for a long time. The first time we engage with our customers after this thing is over is going to be a perfect chance to make a great first impression."

Great companies did that, and when they did, their customers went, "Oh, that feels good. I'm so glad to be here. I needed this so badly. That was great." It just reminded them why that great company is great, and their customers loved it. Those are the companies that are going to lead the way.

Focus on what could be possible. What can you do as a company that might be different than what another company is doing in the same industry?

I'll tell you a funny story. I did a presentation for one of the largest financial institutions in the world, and it was for 300 of their executives at their annual meeting. Then afterwards, everybody had a dinner, and I got to sit with the CEO, and we were talking about how there’s lot of government regulations and a lot of compliance issues. And I said, "Well I guess then there's a lot of focus on what you can't do."

He looked at me and he laughed and said, "Oh, 65 percent of the people in this room are focused on what we can't do." I said, "Well, how many people in this room are focused on what you can do?"

There was silence. There wasn't a focus on what could be possible. It was all focused on what can't be done.

If there's anything I would love for people to take away, it's you can't just focus on what you can't do. You have to focus on what you could do, what could be possible.

What are you working on next?

Trying to define and build the city of the future, and completely rethink where people live, work and play. In today's world, the big cities get bigger and taller, and the smaller cities sort of keep doing things the way they're doing. But they're all the same. What if you started from scratch, and you said, "OK, we're just going to start from scratch. We're going to take everything we know and everything we think could be possible. And let's do something completely from scratch to define what a city should be." I’m in the middle of nondisclosure agreements, so I can’t say much, but I think it's a pretty exciting initiative. ■

What is the one takeaway that our members and guests can expect from your presentation on October 12 in Erie? OCTOBER 2022
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For the past 125 years, we have provided legal support and experience to the region’s business community. We are committed to continue as your strategic partner to navigate the extraordinary challenges in the years ahead.


Phone: (814) 870-7600

100 State St., Suite 700,
PA 16507

Providing Real Solutions, Real Savings for Competitive Health-Care Benefits

Employers today are facing many challenges. From workforce shortages to the growing skills gap, trying to recruit and retain top talent has become a critical part of their operational struggles in already inflationary times.

That’s where benefits are playing a greater part in their solution. Studies show that a competitive benefits package can significantly help in employee acquisition and retention.

According to a survey by recruiting site Glassdoor, approximately 60 percent of respondents reported that they strongly consider perks and benefits offered before accepting a job offer. In addition, 80 percent of employees prefer additional benefits over a pay increase.

In fact, a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management shows 95 percent of employers chose health-care benefits as the most important benefit to a majority of their employees.

Yet health care is one of the most expensive benefits for employers to provide. In 2021, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the average health insurance cost for employers

was $16,253 annually, or 73 percent of the premium, to cover a family and $6,440, or 83 percent of the premium for an individual.

Such rising costs can make businesses second-guess offering an employersponsored health plan. However, the cost of losing employees by not offering health benefits can pose even more challenges.

That’s where the comprehensive approach to cost control from Highmark Blue Cross Blue shield comes in. Today, the largest health insurer in Pennsylvania is paving the way in the effort to manage and drive down costs related to health-care benefits — a big win for the insurer and the 6.8 million members it serves.

“With so much uncertainty in our economy, making business decisions about healthcare spending and health insurance have become even more important,” says Jim Teed, vice president of Regional Markets at Highmark, Inc. “We are committed to helping employers lower their cost burden, improve overall health and provide an attractive benefits offering to attract and retain top talent.”

Lowering Total Cost of Care

Highmark’s provider network is critical to health-care savings. According to a Total Cost of Care analysis conducted by the insurer, there is a “reasonable and

compelling” cost advantage offered by Highmark’s health-care provider network versus its national insurance carrier competition, beyond a simple comparison of discounts offered on provider billed charges.

In Highmark’s analysis — which considered both inpatient and outpatient care, excluding pharmacy costs — the insurer’s total cost of care savings was up to 14-percent lower than its national competitors. The findings were validated by independent consultant Jay Miniati Actuarial Services and based on claims from January 2019 through March 2020.

“You spend a lot of time negotiating discounts on administrative fees, which represent less than 10 percent of your total health-care costs,” Highmark reported.

“But our analysis shows that focusing on administrative fees misses the largest part of your health-care spend — actual employee costs. That’s why Highmark’s Total Cost of Care approach leverages our provider relationships to focus on the 90 percent of costs that matter to you — actual patient costs.”

According to the findings, Highmark’s facility partnerships in western Pennsylvania, with a major hospital system and community hospitals, allowed it to compete directly against other national insurance carriers.

Jim Teed, vice president of Regional Markets at Highmark, Inc. (standing), talks with Signal-Tech President Tim Lewis, HR Director Stacy Wingerter and Chief Financial Officer Lisa Trohoske about the many ways that Highmark can manage and drive down costs related to health-care benefits.
38 OCTOBER 2022 •

“Through our latest case study,” according to Highmark, “we now have clear, statistically sound proof of how our provider network relationships and low unit costs drive savings in terms of inpatient and outpatient costs. The result is better value, better care and lower costs than discounts on billed charges alone.”

Integrating Medical and Pharmacy

At Highmark, the integration of medical and pharmacy benefits is increasingly important to cost savings. According to an independent analysis conducted by HealthScape Advisors, Highmark group customers who combine medical and pharmacy benefits can significantly lower medical costs while also improving health outcomes and member engagement.

Estimates show that Highmark clients with integrated pharmacy save an average of up to $230 in medical costs per member per year.

Experts say the savings adds up when a single team supports enrollment, invoicing, reporting and administration needs. It’s easier to expedite prior authorizations, execute care management programs and manage medications across benefits.

It’s also good news for members. According to Highmark, integrating medical and pharmacy coverage creates a better member experience by combining customer service teams, reducing the number of website logins, and by simply having a single ID card.

Additionally, Highmark integrated plans result in overall shorter inpatient stays (3.9 percent), lower medical costs for chronic conditions, and 14 percent greater engagement with Highmark case management — all leading to better clinical outcomes.

For example, Highmark members with integrated plans have shorter stays for diabetes (1.8 percent), kidney disease (3.5 percent), liver disease (12.3 percent), and rheumatoid arthritis (4.8 percent). In the

area of total medical costs, asthma (2.7 percent lower), COPD (1.8 percent lower) and liver disease (8.4 percent lower), respectively.

Through an integrated plan, Highmark’s care management pharmacists also have real-time access to pharmacy and medical claims to help members improve medication adherence while reducing spending on prescriptions.

“Highmark pharmacists more effectively help members manage their chronic conditions when they have a holistic picture of a member’s medical and pharmacy history,” Highmark officials state.

Combating Fraud, Waste and Abuse

Highmark’s cost control initiatives are adding up, especially in the area of fraud, waste and abuse.

In an industry that loses $380 billion due to fraud each year, Highmark’s Financial Investigations and Provider Review (FIPR) department generated more than $245 million in savings related to fraud, waste and abuse in 2021.

Kurt Spear, vice president of Highmark’s FIPR department, helps lead a team of more than 90 medical professionals, accountants, investigators and partner law enforcement agencies. Their mission: to lower the cost

of health care for consumers and protect Higmark members, but also to reduce the risk of such things as fraudulent purchases of personal protective equipment — a monumental challenge during COVID — billing and coding errors, and unnecessary treatments and medications, which represents a major part of health-care fraud that drive up premiums.

“FIPR protects Highmark customers’ premium dollars and well-being, ensuring that health spending supports high-value care for our more than 6 million members by rooting out bad actors, inefficiencies and errors,” Spear states.

FIPR accomplishes that work by deploying sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) programs and partnering with health systems, public health officials, law enforcement and other health stakeholders. Spears also urges Highmark members to be on alert. “When you go to your doctor, or go to get a lab test, think about the services that they’re recommending and do those really make sense, based on the problems you’re facing or your medical history,” Spears says. “Review your Explanation of Benefits. If something looks unusual in there, feel free to pick up the phone and call us, and we can look into those scenarios. Some of our best tips for fraud come from our members, because they know whether they’ve received a service.”

All of these efforts play a role in Highmark’s ultimate goal to provide real health cost savings and more competitive benefits for employers and employees in today’s tight job market. “At Highmark,” says Teed, “we are proud to be a part of their solution.”

As the fourth largest overall Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization, Highmark Inc. and its Blue-branded affiliates cover the insurance needs of more than 6.8 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. For more information, visit

Highmark Blue Cross Blue shield has taken a comprehensive approach to controlling health insurance costs. Highmark group customers who combine medical and pharmacy benefits can significantly lower medical costs while also improving health outcomes and member engagement. OCTOBER 2022
Printing Concepts continually adapted to industry changes in our more than 50 years in business. Through these changes, we have prepared ourselves to provide you the superior quality and services necessary to the success of your organization. We attribute our success to our relationships with our customers - past, present and future! Contact us today to learn more about the wealth of other services we offer: • Art department with complete layout and graphic design services • State-of-the-art 6-color and 4-color printing presses with a range of coating options • Extensive digital capabilities for short run and variable data printing featuring an HP Indigo digital color press • Complete bindery, die cutting, foil stamping and embossing • Comprehensive mailing and distribution systems • SFI® and FSC® certification that provides a sound commitment to our environment SUCCESS THROUGH INNOVATION 4982 Pacific Avenue | Erie, Pennsylvania 16506 P: 814-833-8080 | TF: 800-540-7805 PRINTING CONCEPTS INNO VA TIVE PRINTING SOLUTIONS

Betts Industries Inc. 1800 PA Avenue West Warren, PA 16365 814/723-1250

Doing What’s Best

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

Family Values

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

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

Commitment to Innovation

Chad A. Betts is president of Betts Industries, Inc.

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


Betts’ Commitment to forward-thinking innovation include:

GUARDIAN™ 407 Vent

• DEFENDER™ 407 Kit

• AIR COMMANDER™ air distributor, featuring positive visual confirmation of vent status

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

Corporate Headquarters and Divisions

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

This main facility houses Betts’ manufacturing, engineering, purchasing and sales departments, along with other business functions. A separate facility houses its lighting division. Unlike other companies that may choose to leave their roots and move elsewhere, Betts is proud to play an important role in the community and has chosen to expand in this region, continuing to support the generations of employees who have chosen Betts as their family for over a century.

Contact Us

To learn more about Betts Industries, visit OCTOBER 2022



For the past 30 years, the Manufacturer & Business Association has been a recognized leader in professional training programs.

Employers value the knowledge and experience that the MBA’s training programs provide to their organizations. Employees appreciate the chance to learn new skills from their instructors and peers in an engaging, interactive environment.

Today, the MBA offers more than 65 professional training classes, as well as certificate series programs, which include Leadership for Team Leaders, Supervisory Skills, Supervisory Safety, Marketing and Communications, HR Essentials (Level I and Advanced), as well as Access, Excel and Word Application Specialists.

For graduates, the MBA’s Certificate Programs aren’t just pieces of paper to file or hang on their wall — they’re real-world knowledge that can take them and their organizations to the next level. Those who complete all levels of the MBA’s series hands-on courses not only receive a plaque acknowledging their achievement, but are recognized both at a special ceremony in their honor and in the MBA's premier publication, the Business Magazine.

“The Association continues to develop and deliver the highest level of professional training that today’s business environment demands, and graduates from the MBA’s certificate training programs leave here ready to apply what they’ve learned the same day,” says Tracy Daggett, PHR, manager of Professional Development Training Services at the MBA. “That’s why employers choose us for their training needs.”


Professional Development

Experts agree that training and development helps employers gain and retain top talent, increase job satisfaction and morale, improve productivity and become more profitable. It also helps employees build confidence in their abilities, especially when it comes to leadership.

For example, to be successful in a role, new leaders must know what their responsibilities are both to the organization and to the people they lead. The MBA’s five-part Leadership for Team Leaders Series addresses the challenges of this position and more.

“There’s a lot more on the plate for leaders to manage today,” says Daggett. “We help them navigate the challenges of leadership and become better team communicators.”

Such skills are equally important for supervisors. The MBA’s fivepart Supervisory Skills Certification Series teaches new and experienced supervisors the skills needed to properly motivate and direct their teams to meet company goals, objectives and law compliance. The series emphasizes mastering management techniques essential to the success of both the supervisor and the company. Each course consists of two full days of training or 16 hours of instruction.

As the MBA’s keystone training program, the Supervisory Skills Certification Series is truly one of a kind, utilizing an in-person format to help participants get the most out of their classroom experience. Like many of the Association’s training programs, the Supervisory

Skills Series is also offered onsite, so the program can be tailored to a member’s specific needs or issues.

“We consult with our clients even before we get started to understand specifically what is going on at their organization,” says Daggett. “We also incorporate the company’s core value and inter-company initiatives to make it more custom.”

Harry Elinsky Jr., president and CEO of Filtech in West Homestead, Pennsylvania, says his company has been using the MBA’s Supervisory Skills Certificate Series for many years. “We have sent numerous team members to the program,” he says. “We have found it essential to help our team members develop and fine tune skills, which helps them grow and subsequently better our organization. None of us were born leaders. We all need to work on leadership skills. The MBA’s program is a great resource.”

Elinsky adds he’d highly recommend and urge other employers to utilize the MBA’s Supervisory Skills program. “The trainers are top notch,” he says. “They present the material well and reinforce the skills learned. We have found the

The MBA holds a Recognition Ceremony for graduates of its certificate programs. The Supervisory Skills Series is the Association’s keystone training program. Other certificate programs include Leadership for Team Leaders, Supervisory Safety, Marketing and Communications, HR Essentials (Level I and Advanced), as well as Access, Excel and Word Application Specialists.

investment to be well worth the time and money.”

HR Essentials

For those in the HR field, the MBA offers more HR-focused training programs than any other organization in the region. Taught by the MBA’s certified HR professionals, these courses are perfect for those who may be newer in their HR career path or possess a more advanced skill set.

“A lot of people join our certificate programs for the connections and also to keep updated with how often regulations change,” explains MBA HR Consultant and Trainer Rachel Tserkovniak, PHR. “Most individuals do not have the time to spend on some of these policies and legislation changes. Through our training programs, they can always be ready for continuous improvement and make sure that their organization is pivoted in the best way forward to make sure that they're knowledgeable on HR and related skills.”

The MBA’s classes also offer flexibility. All HR classes are offered in person or virtually for both Level I and Advanced courses. Since > OCTOBER 2022
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there’s no specific order to the HR Essentials Certification, participants can take one half-day course or all six half-day courses at any time to complete the series. Currently, it takes about six months to finish the whole program if taken continuously. The courses also qualify for HRCI and SHRM credits.

Michelle Potts-Sciallo, an HR specialist for Wesbury in Meadville, recognizes the value that the MBA’s HR courses provide. “Wesbury has utilized the MBA for HR education for years,” she says. “I joined the Human Resources team during COVID with very little HR background and very little time to ‘get up to speed.’ Wesbury knew the MBA would be able to provide me with the education I needed to make me knowledgeable, efficient and successful in my new position.”

Potts-Sciallo says she has and continues to recommend the HR Essentials Certificate Series to anyone and everyone. “I dualcertified at the same time, and I utilize the knowledge I gained in those classes every single day,” she says. “It was a wonderful introduction to HR and would make a great refresher as things are continually changing in the HR world. The classes were informative, interactive and fun.”

Computer Training

Another in-demand certificate program at the MBA is in computer training. The MBA's expert computer trainers stand ready to help employees develop the technical

expertise needed for today's applications.

Participants can earn the MBA's Application Specialist certificate upon completion of all classes in Microsoft Excel, Access and now Word by completing hands-on training classes. Excel and Word are offered in three levels. Access is offered as two-day course initially followed by two additional levels.

“Most people are self-taught and might not realize that they spending hours doing something that really only would take a few minutes by taking one of our courses,” explains MBA Computer and Digital Media Specialist Casey Naylon. “By putting forth that effort to complete one of our certificate programs to not only improve themselves but their efficiency at work is a major achievement and very worthwhile.”

The MBA recognizes that technology is constantly changing, which is why the MBA’s training programs are frequently updated to stay current with the demands of today’s work world. “When you think of Excel,” Naylon explains, “they just released 13 new functions in March 2022 that are completely new and doing brand new things that were so difficult before. We ensure that our courses reflect the most current tips and shortcuts to improve their skill and efficiency.”

Chery Dixon, a case manager for Northern Tier Community Action in Emporium, Pennsylvania, recognizes the value that the MBA’s Computer Training program provides. “The MBA is very easy to work with, they're quick to answer questions and ready to help,” she says. “The Excel classes are engaging and full of useful information.”

Naylon is quick to add that one of the MBA’s Excel Application Specialists will also be one of the first Word Application Specialist graduates. “The gentleman took classes one through three and said he wanted to take Word beyond Level I,” she says. “Based on that request, we put a new series together and now we have a certificate program to Word that is similar to Excel, which is very exciting.”

From half-day to full-day offerings, the MBA is always looking for ways to help employers with their computer training and professional development. Learn more about the many certificate programs and other courses available at the MBA at

For graduates, the MBA’s Certificate Programs aren’t just pieces of paper to file or hang on their wall — they’re real-world knowledge that can take them and their organizations to the next level. Participants who complete all levels of the MBA’s series hands-on receive a plaque acknowledging their achievement. OCTOBER 2022
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9th Annual Manufacturing Day Celebrates Industry, Technology and Education

The Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA), along with dozens of partner and sponsor organizations, is gearing up for one of the largest celebrations of manufacturing and manufacturing education in the country during its 2022 Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) celebration. More than 1,000 students, educators and community leaders from the region are expected to attend.

This year’s event, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12, at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, will feature a spectacular display and celebration of American manufacturing and technology, including more than 50 interactive exhibits and displays, as well as educational breakout sessions, and various contests for students to get involved.

One of the most highly anticipated portions of the program is expected to be the Appreciation and Recognition event at noon in the BCC Ballroom, featuring the presentation of the 2022 Patrick R. Locco Scholarship Award winners from five area vocational and technical schools.

2022 nominees include: David Parrett Jr., Taylor Elchynski, Jacob Kuberry, Brilie Ann Tasker and Trey Proper of the Corry Area Career & Technical Center; Garrick Jordan and Chase Miller of the Crawford County Career & Technical Center; Jairo Sandoval, Joseph Smith and Jamear Moffett of Erie High School; Tyler Chorney, Angela Dobmeier, Lewis Kuss, Connor Bablak

and Anthony Ingro of the Erie County Technical School; and, Deven Olson, Nate Leksell and Jeno Grasso of the Mercer County Career Center.

“We recognize the value and importance of technical and vocational education,” said Lori Joint, interim president and chief executive officer at the MBA. “These are some of the best and brightest students in our region, and we were proud to give them their moment to shine among their peers and our business community leaders. They are truly the future of manufacturing.”

The Locco Awards, which are named in honor of the late Association Vice President Patrick R. Locco, a strong advocate of

vocational education, were created in 1972 (then known as the Golden Watch Awards) with the sole purpose to recognize outstand ing high school students who distinguish themselves in the pursuit of technical and academic excellence. To be considered for this prestigious honor, students must apply and be nominated by a teacher. Each school then narrows the nominees to their top can didates. Students are then interviewed by local businesspeople who ultimately choose the winners.

This year, the student winners each received a $1,000 scholarship.

For more information about MFG Day or the Locco Awards, visit

More than 1,000 students, educators and community leaders are expected to attend the 2022 MFG Day celebration. Shown here is the Exhibit Hall showcasing the latest in manufacturing-related technology.

Contest winners are recognized on stage, along with winners of the Locco Awards, during the annual MFG Day Appreciation and Recognition event in Erie.



Address: 2700 Mechanic Street, Lake City, PA 16423

Phone: 814/774-5658


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


Address: 7626 Klier Drive, Fairview, PA 16415

Phone: 814/474-4200


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


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

Phone: 814/337-9200


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


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

Phone: 814/452-2281


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


Address: 1901 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15209

Phone: 412/821-2703


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


Address: 1 Front Street, Irvine, PA 16329

Phone: 866/523-6743


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


Address: 2200 Asbury Road, Erie, PA 16506

Phone: 814/835-6000


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


Address: 1851 Rudolph Avenue, Erie, PA 16502

Phone: 814/456-7001


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


Address: 109 University Sq., Erie, PA 16541

Phone: 814/871-7407


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


Address: 1010 US – 19, Waterford, PA 16441

Phone: 814/679-3129


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


Address: 2909 West 12th Street

Erie, PA 16505

Phone: 814/833-9876 Website:

Quality contract machining, fabrication and assembly for OEMS since 1967.


Address: 2099 Hill City Road, Seneca, PA 16346

Phone: 814/677-0716


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


Address: 3340 Pearl Avenue, Erie, PA 16510

Phone: 814/899-3111


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

50 OCTOBER 2022 •

The Manufacturer & Business Association is excited to return to the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, PA on October 12 for the ninth annual MFG Day celebration. More than 1,000 students, teachers, administrators, business and community leaders are expected to attend for what will be the largest audience of “future manufacturers” attending today! The 2022 program will showcase exhibits, programs and educational breakout sessions designed for participants to experience innovative technology and learn about the many career opportunities in modern manufacturing. Learn more about some of our supporters below!


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

Phone: 814/870-7600


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


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

Phone: 814/459-4495


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


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

Phone: 814/332-8200


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


Address: 1100 State Street, Erie, PA 16501

Phone: 814/871-8200


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


Address: 176 Thorn Hill Rd. Warrendale, Pa 15086

Phone: 412/849-7126


Founded in 1926, NEFF is a premier solution provider for robotics, motion control, structural, vision, sensing, pneumatic, vacuum and machine safety products.


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

Phone: 814/720-0094


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


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

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


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


Address: 2455 Robison Road West, Erie, PA 16509

Phone: 814/868-3180


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


Address: 219 Meadville Street, Edinboro, PA 16444

Phone: 814/732-2761


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


Address: 4701 College Drive, Erie, PA 16563

Phone: 814/898-6000


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


A world-class injection molding, rigid plastics processor.

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

Phone: 814/878-4400


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


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

Phone: 866/479-7225


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


Address: 7701 Klier Drive Fairview, PA 16415

Phone: 814/474-9100


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


Address: 1300 Cranberry Street, Erie, PA 16501

Phone: 814/459-4974


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


Address: 2901 East Lake Road Erie, PA 16531


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


Address: 1628 Cascade Street, Erie, PA 16502

Phone: 814/454-1563


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


Address: 2154 East Lake Road, Erie, PA 16511

Phone: 814/456-6231


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


Address: 4701 College Drive, Erie PA 16563

Phone: 814/898.6495


Money Radio WP$E AM 1450/FM 107.1 is Erie’s only money-business newstalk radio station. The station is Erie’s leader for global and financial news and the radio home for the Ramsey Show.

M acD onal d I ll i g ATTORNEYS Committed to Service since 1946 KeepAmericaStrong WELD IT! Do not print black outline OCTOBER 2022

An innovative new device. A new lease on life.

It was an ordinary morning, until Jacob Sax tried to stand up from his recliner to help his wife and realized he couldn’t move. He was rushed to AHN Saint Vincent Hospital, where a CAT scan revealed the 84-year-old had suffered a mini-stroke. An MRI also showed a microbleed on his brain.

Cerebral microbleeds are not uncommon in aging populations. But, because this 84-year-old was on a blood thinner due to atrial fibrillation (AFib) — which causes clots — it was dire. Traditionally, Jacob would have had two choices: he could stay on the blood thinner and risk a catastrophic brain bleed, or he could go off of it and risk a massive stroke. Neither choice was acceptable to Jacob, his daughter, Jeannine Thompson, or his interventional cardiologist, AHN Dr. Orestis Pappas. “I’ve known Jacob for the past four years. We had to find an option that would get him off the blood thinner as soon as possible and reduce his risk of stroke,” said the doctor. Luckily for Jacob, the team at Saint Vincent was already in the process of procuring an innovative device — the Abbott Amplatzer™ Amulet™ Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Occluder — which is designed to reduce ischemic stroke risk for people with AFib. Basically, it collects, traps, and disintegrates blood clots that can pool in the lower chambers of the heart due to AFib.

“It’s a low-risk option that’s been used successfully in Europe for several years and was recently FDA approved for use in the United States,” Dr. Pappas said. “We had completed the preliminary education training, so we worked with the company to accelerate the in-hospital training. We pushed the envelope to get it here faster. We’re the only hospital in the region that has it.”

Jacob was the first patient in the region to receive this lifesaving treatment. Did that make him nervous? “A little,” Jacob said. “But Dr. Pappas is very reassuring.”

“He said this is what he would do if it were his dad,” said Jeannine. So, Jacob took his last dose of blood thinner a day and a half prior to the 30-minute procedure, and was in recovery within a few hours. “I was up and out of the bed the same day, with no pain,” he said. Jacob went home the next day, was back to his normal routine the day after, and his 45-day post-op CAT scan confirmed everything is healed properly, and the device is doing its job. “Dr. Pappas saved my dad’s life. We are so thankful to him and his Physician Assistant, Leslee. The care and compassion we received is top notch,” said Jeannine. “We’ve not found this level of cardiac care anywhere else. The knowledge and advancements available here are huge.”



Source: Rudy Chang, Juan Castillo, Alexander C. Zambon, Tatiana B. Krasieva, Mark J. Fisher, Rachita K. Sumbria. Brain Endothelial Erythrophagocytosis and Hemoglobin Transmigration Across Brain Endothelium: Implications for Pathogenesis of Cerebral Microbleeds. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 2018; 12 DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00279

“We’ve not found this level of cardiac care anywhere else. The knowledge and advancements available here are huge.” — JEANNINE THOMPSON

Game-changing option for patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib).

AHN Saint Vincent Hospital is now offering a minimally invasive therapy to treat people with atrial fibrillation who are at risk of ischemic stroke. The FDA-approved device, Abbott’s Amplatzer Amulet Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Occluder, uses dual-seal technology to completely and immediately seal the LAA, so blood-thinning medication is not needed following the procedure. It allows us to treat a broader range of patients with AFib, and allows them to immediately discontinue blood-thinning medication. In addition, because it is minimally invasive, it means a faster, less painful recovery for patients. AHN Saint Vincent and Allegheny General are the only hospitals in the region that offer this novel technology.

AFib occurs when the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat out of coordination with the lower chambers (ventricles) and contract rapidly and irregularly. It is the most common arrhythmia, and can increase the likelihood of a clot formation, which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. For patients with AFib who are unable to take blood thinners long-term, physicians may perform procedures to prevent blood clots from leaving the LAA to reduce the risk of stroke.

If you or someone you love has AFib, ask your doctor if this new therapy is an option.

An MD on a mission.

Both in and out of Saint Vincent, Dr. Orestis Pappas is determined to increase awareness in the community about heart disease and the therapeutic options available.

“Cardiovascular disease affects the majority of the population, especially those over 65,” he said. “As technology advances, the potential impact to help patients increases. We can perform interventional procedures both emergently and electively, that restore heart health and save lives. We’re able to make a difference — in ways that lead to faster recovery, less risk, less blood loss, and fewer incisions.”

There’s nowhere else he’d rather perform these procedures than at Saint Vincent. “AHN is very supportive of local care and what the community needs. Their focus is on providing high quality cardiovascular care close to home as much as possible,” he said. Which means patients don’t have to travel outside of Erie.

“We have advanced technologies and tools here,” he said. “Like the Abbott Amulet. It’s another arrow in our quiver to help prevent strokes in patients for whom it would be devastating. It gives patients an option they didn’t have before.”

Amplatzer, Amplatzer Amulet and Amulet are trademarks of Abbott or its related companies. Reproduced with permission of Abbott, © 2022. All rights reserved.

A Leading Expert in Industrial Automation.

NEFF Automation is a 4th generation, family-owned high tech distributor. Our focus is helping our customers increase their competitiveness. We do that by selling only top-quality products, backed by a team of engineers that support those products and design custom automation solutions.

Pennslyvania Locations

176 Thorn Hill Road Warrendale, PA 15086

Phone: (724) 776-5669

1200 Corporate Blvd Lancaster, PA 17601

Phone: (610) 765-1401

Email: customerservice-pa@ne

Scan to Learn More

2455 Robison Road W Erie, PA 16509

Phone: 814/868-8130

Parker LORD: Strengthening Our Position to Better Serve Global Customers COMPANY PROFILE

A Period of Growth and Innovation

It was the Roaring Twenties, and shortly after World War I when industrial and manufacturing business sectors saw unprecedented growth — soldiers were returning home, business inge nuity was vibrant, and jobs became increasingly plentiful, particularly in more populated parts of the country where various modes of transpor tation existed. For northwestern Pennsylvania and other states along the rust belt region this meant economic growth opportunities — consumer demand was on the rise.

Inventions like radio and telephone merely scratched the surface of unparalleled 20th century innovations. The practicality of having access to automobiles made driving an ideal choice for consumers, albeit with challenges.

Loud squealing of metal-on-metal contact at the leaf spring joints that supported the body of cars was prominent. Attempts to resolve the noise by attaching rubber to the metal failed — the vulcanized rubber used as a damper would not adhere to the metal.

In 1924, Hugh Lord, a patent attorney in Erie, Pennsylvania, began working on a solution to the problem, which was the impetus for the founding of LORD Corporation (LORD), a diversified technology and manufacturing com pany that developed highly reliable adhesives, coatings, motion management devices, and sensing technologies to significantly reduce risk and improve product performance. Within three years of establishing his company, Lord figured it out — rubber bushings would be inserted into the eyes of the leaf springs to carry the weight. It was in that same year that the first sale for LORD was completed — General Electric would use LORD rubber mountings on its air compres sors in trolly cars. Automakers like Nash Motors and Lincoln would later follow suit by using LORD engine mounts on their cars.

Strength in Partnership

In October 2019, Parker Hannifin (Parker), a Fortune 250 global leader in motion and control technologies acquired LORD — expanding the

company’s technology portfolio and strength ening its position as a global leader in engi neered materials and products. This strategic transaction turned the company’s strong materials science capabilities, electrification and aerospace products into highly comple mentary offerings. Parker is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, but the Erie, Pennsylvania location remains a flagship facility, with nearby plants in Cambridge Springs and Saegertown — responsible for production that serve global customers.

For nearly a century, when many industrial and manufacturing plants have come and gone, in and around Erie, Parker LORD stands firm and is one of the largest employers in the area.

Positioning for the Future

In 2015, LORD opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art Summit Township manufactur ing plant. The $100 million investment repre sented a huge economic victory for Erie. The 1 million square-foot facility enabled structural, and equipment upgrades to fill a strong backlog from former facilities on West 12th Street and Grandview Boulevard.

The Cambridge Springs facility supports the electromechanical assembly product line for aerospace and industrial customers. This

product line has seen rapid growth over the last several years and has become very compli mentary to the rubber-to-metal product that is produced for the Oil & Gas, Industrial, and General Aviation markets.

In 2018, LORD broke ground on the Saegertown facility expansion project — an $80 million investment to help meet customer demand around the globe. This expansion project will be completed in 2023, adding 75,000 square feet to an already existing 250,000-square-foot building. Saegertown is the company’s largest specialty chemicals, adhesives, and coatings manufacturing facility. Materials developed at the site are used in the production of almost all passenger vehicles throughout the world. The plant produces a wide variety of LORD acrylic, urethane, and epoxy adhesives, as well as Chemlok® rubber-to-substrate adhesives – in addition to producing specialty intermediate chemicals and coatings products.

As part of Parker Hannifin, Parker LORD con tinues to serve customers in growth industries while capitalizing on emerging trends, such as electrification and lightweighting. Together, the companies share nearly two centuries of col lective rich history, passionate team members, and a winning culture committed to serving our customers, shareholders and communities. OCTOBER 2022

Executive Committee

Board Members

Message from the Immediate Past Chairman

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your 2021-2022 chairman of the Manufacturer & Business Association. The MBA has been a big part of my life and my business for many years, and the chance to be a part of its leadership has been a great honor.

While I’m extremely proud of the work we’ve done over the past year, I am equally thrilled to support incoming chairman, Jana Goodrich, Executive Committee members Kyle Blakeslee, Guy Berkebile, Scott Bonnell, along with Board members Chad Betts, Jon DeArment, Bob Frost, Jim Greenleaf, Jeff Plyler and Mark Raimy, as we plan for the future.

I’d also like to congratulate new Board members Matt Clark and Gary Clark on their recent appointments. You each bring unique perspectives and decades of leadership experience to the MBA, and I’m excited as we forge a new era of innovation and value-added services for our members.

We’ve come a long way — and there is more work to be done — but now is the time to embrace our mission as we position the MBA and its members for continued success. Looking forward to a bright future!

Best regards, Ron Jones Hardwood Sales Inc.

Chairman Jana Goodrich President and Chief Executive Officer Seaway Manufacturing Chad Betts President and Chief Executive Officer Betts Industries Non- Representative Scott Bonnell Bonnell’s Auto Group Jim Greenleaf Chief Executive Officer Greenleaf Corporation Jeff Plyler President and Chief Executive Officer Plyler Enterprises, Inc. Mark Raimy President and Chief Executive Officer Welders Supply Company –Raimy Corporation Immediate Past Chairman Steve Jones President Ron Jones Hardwood Sales Inc. Vice Chairman Kyle Blakeslee General Manager and Foundry Director Urick Ductile Solutions Jon DeArment President and Chief Operating Officer Channellock, Inc; Treasurer Guy Berkebile President Guy Chemical, Inc. Bob Frost Vice President, Engineered Systems Procurement Wabtec Corporation
56 OCTOBER 2022 •

Meet the New Board Members

Matt Clark, Vice President and General Manager Humes Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram

Matt Clark is the vice president and general manager of Humes Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. An Erie native and Gannon University graduate, Clark began working part time at Humes while attending college and worked his way up to a salesperson and eventually sales manager, then general manager. He became an owner and vice president in 1999. Clark is an owner and president of Humes Ford of Corry. Humes has grown into one of the largest Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram dealers in the entire tri-state region.

In addition to the automobile business, Clark, along with Bob and Greg Humes, formed Southland Development and developed the land and created the Southland Village subdivision, now having 103 completed homes.

Clark is very active in the community, supporting multiple charities and nonprofits, and chairing many fundraisers and capital campaigns for the Inner City Neighborhood Art House, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Heart Association, Crime Victim Center of Erie County, and the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network. Clark is very proud to be a founding benefactor and active supporter of Warriors to Washington and board member of the Oliver Hazard Perry Shipyard Foundation.

Clark is also president of the Erie County Automobile Dealer Association and the 2022 chairman of the Pennsylvania Auto Association.

Clark and Humes Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram were named the prestigious TIME Magazine Pennsylvania Dealer of the Year in 2019. Additionally, Clark was inducted into the Cathedral Prep Presidents Hall of Fame in 2019, received a special Congressional Certificate of Recognition for Community Involvement along with a PA House of Representatives citation for service to the community.

Gary Clark, Chief Executive Officer

Reed Manufacturing Co.

Gary Clark has been chief executive officer of Reed Manufacturing Co. in Erie since 2016. He previously worked at Snap-tite, Inc. from 1983 to 2012, in which he served as vice president and chief administrative officer at Snap-tite, Inc. from 1995 to 2012.

Clark, who earned a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing from Gannon University, also has been an active member of the community, serving on past and present boards including the Erie Center for Arts and Technology, Reed Manufacturing Company, Erie Bank Advisory Board, Penn State Council of Fellows, Eriez Manufacturing Company, Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership Board (including its Economic Development Committee), Snap-tite and its related companies as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Development Corporation of Erie County, Gannon University Ambassadors (chairman) and the Industrial Resource Center of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Clark also was recognized as Gannon University’s Young Alumni for 2003. OCTOBER 2022

Krahe Recognized for Longtime Service, Dedication to MBA

John Krahe is steadfast when it comes to supporting manufacturers and other employers in northwest Pennsylvania. For 30 years, he has been a dedicated member of the Manufacturer & Business Association’s (MBA) professional staff, serving most recently as president and chief executive officer. Now, in his role as lead oversight for MBA’s 2022 Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) celebration and Annual Event, Krahe has played a pivotal role in advancing the manufacturing and business interests of Association members while connecting students and the community with today’s modern manufacturing and business opportunities.

“John’s relationships with area business leaders and educators have been instrumental in the planning and execution of our two signature events,” said Jana Goodrich, chairman of the MBA Board of Governors. “We are very thankful for his commitment to ensuring their continued success.”

Krahe is proud to serve the business community in his hometown. A Cathedral Preparatory School alumnus, he graduated from Elon College in Elon, North Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and finance. Krahe eventually returned to Pennsylvania and settled down in Millcreek Township, where he and his wife, Cathy, raised their family — daughters Courtney and Julianne and sons Colby and Jared.

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

In his role as senior VP since January 2000, Krahe supervised all aspects of the organization’s day-to-day operations. He worked closely on special projects and initiatives with late President and CEO Ralph Pontillo for over 20 years, including the highly successful charitable event, Roar on the Shore®, taking the lead on organizing safety and security measures with local and state law enforcement. Following Pontillo’s retirement in 2017, Krahe was named MBA president and CEO, a role he held until July 2022.

During his tenure, Krahe helped expand the geographic reach of the Association’s keystone certification programs, including its nationally recognized Supervisory Skills and Leadership for Team Leaders Series, and enhanced the organization’s HR Support Team and delivery system that supports the MBA membership on a daily basis. He led efforts to grow the MBA’s MFG Day program to be one of the largest educational celebrations of manufacturing of its kind in the country. Krahe also was instrumental in leading the MBA’s merger with SMC Business Councils to expand the MBA’s membership footprint in the Greater Pittsburgh region throughout Southwestern and South Central Pennsylvania. Most recently, he helped navigate the MBA team through the COVID pandemic to be able to serve and assist its members to do the same.

At the same time, Krahe has been a member of the American Society of Association Executives and Board member for the Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System (ACES). ACES is a nonprofit, non-political educational organization promoting the understanding of free market economics to students, teachers, and the general public through partnerships between the business and education communities. For years, Krahe organized the Association’s annual golf event with partial proceeds benefiting ACES’ programs.

James Ohrn, chief financial officer at Custom Engineering and a fellow ACES Board member, praised Krahe for his leadership and dedication.

“John is a true leader and community advocate who has proven his mettle with me as he has skillfully served for 30 years in senior management roles at the MBA and as a longtime loyal Board member of the Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System,” said Ohrn. “He is a man of humility, honesty and respect for others with an innate passion to help all who came before him. John has always been a great champion of the genius of our free enterprise system in this country, and we are all indeed much better off for knowing and working with him.”

Now, with Krahe pursuing other career opportunities, the MBA has been hosting several recognition events, commending his contributions and service.

“John’s vision over the years has been instrumental in offering cutting-edge services to its membership,” stated former MBA Board of Governors Chairman Harry Eighmy, chief operating officer of American Turned Products. “From training, legal services and health insurance to the Annual Meeting/MFG Day, John will certainly be leaving the Association in fine shape.”

Added Lori Joint, the Association’s interim president and CEO, “John genuinely cares about others and has not only been a respected leader but a faithful friend. He will be truly missed, and we wish him all the best.”

For years, Krahe organized the MBA’s annual golf event with partial proceeds benefiting ACES’ programs. Krahe’s service extends to other organizations, includingAmericans for the Competitive Enterprise System (ACES). Krahe is lead oversight for the MBA’s 2022 Annual Event and annual MFG Day celebration, one of the largest celebrations of manufacturing and manufacturing education in the country. Shown here is the Exhibit Hall from 2021’s MFG Day event. John Krahe greets legendary coach Lou Holtz, one of the many renowned speakers to deliver the keynote address at the MBA’s Annual Event over the years.


At the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA), we recognize that innovation is more than the latest shiny new toy. It’s about rethinking programs and services, and, most importantly, how we engage you, our members. At the MBA, we are always looking ahead!

Our dedicated and professional staff are focused on ways to help our more than 3,000 member organizations succeed. From our in-person and online informational briefings, training offerings and forums (such as our new HR CoffeeTalk) to our growing social presence and online resources, we continue to make access easier for our members. And we’re not done yet!

At the Association, we actually “cover” your world, providing members instant access to our premier digital edition of Business Magazine, emailed to their inboxes each month, as well as latest audiovisual equipment at our state-of-the-art Conference Center, allowing members to connect with colleagues not just in our conference rooms but also around the globe. In fact, our Energy and Insurance professionals are always monitoring for the best rates, and Our Government Affairs and HR/Legal Services teams are constantly getting updates on the latest legislative news and HR compliance topics, alerting members as soon as possible. Even when it comes to Training, our instructors go above and beyond to ensure that you know about our latest offerings, such as Power BI (business intelligence), which can help any business — of any size — improve its operations.

At the MBA, we recognize that there is no way of going back to the old way of doing things. So let us show you how our innovative approach to member services can help your organization succeed!

EXECUTIVE TEAM BUSINESS MAGAZINE, COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING Casey Naylon Computer and Digital Media Specialist Tammy Toman, JD, PHR, SHRM-CP Vice President and Employment Counsel Christine DeSantis Graphic Designer Chris Peterson Account Executive Brad Phillips Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Frank Mehler Account Executive Tammy Polanski Director of Marketing
60 OCTOBER 2022 •
Laurie Mattis Director of Administration Jezree Friend Assistant Vice President of External Relations Rachel Tserkovniak, SPHR HR Consultant and Trainer Stacey Bruce, SPHR, SHRM-SCP Director of HR Services Ann Miaczynski Administrative Support Specialist Tracy Daggett, PHR Manager of Services Sharon Ventrice Director of Finance Ryan Murphy MBA Insurance Agency Bea Blenner Assistant Controller Judy Rosatti EnergyAdvisor Sarah Vincent Conference Center Coordinator Eileen Anderson Director of Relations/SMC Rose Bruno, PHR, SHRM-CP Consultant Melissa Lesniewski Coordinator Lisa DeFilippo Senior Trainer Patty Welther Manager of Member Engagement Pam Durst Receptionist
Professional Development Training
Member Benefits
Professional Development

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

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

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

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

AirBorn Inc. • 2700 Mechanic Street Lake City, PA 16423 • 814.877.5658
64 OCTOBER 2022 •

2609 West 12th Street Erie, PA 16505

Phone: 814/833-9876

Three-Generation Leader in Contract Manufacturing for 55 Years

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

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

ISM is a premier contract manufacturer and supplier of quality machined, fabricated and assembled components for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

With advanced technology and highly skilled employees, ISM can produce a range of components and assemblies ranging from a single prototype to millions, exactly as ordered, on time, every time.

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

Front row, from left: ISM Founder and CEO Jim Rutkowski Sr. and Secretary and Business Manager Ann E. RutkowskiMarx, along with (back row, from left): General Manager and Treasurer Jim Rutkowski Jr. and Vice President of Manufacturing Charlie Rutkowski.

People. Activated.

Intimate partner violence is a serious problem in America.

National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Summary Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reviewed July 26, 2022. Accessed Aug. 30, 2022. violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf

analytics | advocacy | absence | technology

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

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

66 OCTOBER 2022 •

Products/Services Provided:

Global transportation, warehousing, fulfillment, global logistics, business intelligence, technology, and supply chain solutions. Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) partner that manages the MBA Logistics Services Program for MBA members.

Education: B.A., Ferris State University MBA, Grand Valley State University

Professional Associations: Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA)

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)


Great Place to Work certification, Top 3PL. Top Freight Brokerage and Warehousing Firm, Inc. 5000, Inc. Top Workplaces, Inc.

Best In Business, Top Supply Chain Projects, others.

Contact Information: Email:

Phone: 814/240.6881

Address: 1406 Peach Street Erie, PA 16501

Products/Services Provided:

Located in the heart of Erie’s federal West 6th Street Historic District, the 46,000 square-foot Hagen History Center is one of the largest history museums in the tri-state area. The History Center is also the newest Frank Lloyd Wright site in the United States, featuring the acclaimed architect’s original office from San Francisco. The five-building complex includes the 1891 WatsonCurtze Mansion, the Wood-Morrison House, exhibit building, visitor center and research library and archive. The History Center has proudly served the Erie region since 1898.

Meet the New Director: Pifer is a familiar name in Erie as he was executive director at the Hagen History Center from 2013 to 2016. He also served as director of marketing and development at the Erie Maritime Museum from 2010 to 2013. In 2016, Pifer was appointed vice president of external relations at Mercyhurst University. In 2020, he became senior adviser to the president at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh where he led the startup and overall project management for the $151 million Duquesne University College of Medicine. He recently returned to the Hagen History Center as executive director.

History Center


Executive Director
LOGISTICS NONPROFIT SCOTT G. FREDERICK Chief Marketing Officer & Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) Carrier Relations Logistics Plus, Inc.
Wettekin Electronics Automation for Industry Design and Assembly of Industrial Control Panels Motor Controls, Programmable Logic Controls, Operator Consoles Distributor of Industrial Electrical Components Parts and Service Center for Van Air Systems 4506 West 12th Street Erie, PA 16505 Ph: 814-838-9184 Fax: 814-838-6060 Contact Information: Email: Phone: 814/454-1813 Address: Erie Campus Girard Campus      356 W. Sixth Street 306 - 436 Walnut Street Erie,
16507 Girard, PA 16417 OCTOBER 2022
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We’ll simplify the complex process of buying investment or owner-occupied property with an Erie FCU Commercial Real Estate Loan. Loans subject to credit approval. Membership eligibility required. • Insured by NCUA Contact Nathan Crouch or Mark Paradise at (814) 825 -2436 or to get started!
• Investment and owner-occupied properties • Local market familiarity and extensive knowledge • Competitive low rates and loan terms • Local decision-making • No application fee • No pre-payment penalties Premier Asset-Based Transportation Provider located in Erie, PA Regional Next Day and Same Day Service to the Tri -State Area Lake Erie Trucking Services:  Less than Truckload  Regional Truckload  Final Mile / Residential Pickup and Delivery  Local Shuttle  Ground Expedite  Commercial Truck Repair  Warehousing LET us be a part of your Transportation Network! 68 OCTOBER 2022 •

If you are seeking legal services, we should have a conversation about:

• How we strive to achieve each client’s objectives

• How we invest in our people

• How we are thought leaders

• How our firm has grown to a diverse staff of over 90

• How we’ve been recognized nationally

• How we serve our communities

• How we have worldwide capacity

Let’s talk. Call us at 814-459-2800.

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Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. Erie | North East | Pittsburgh | Jamestown, NY 814-459-2800 |
You don’t have to go far for an incredible college experience. ™ TOP REGIONAL Liberal Arts College in Western PA Named a top regional liberal arts college in Western Pa. by U.S. News & World Report Thiel College’s innovative programs get you to your goal faster Communication & Leadership M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling M.A. M.B.A. Physician Assistant Studies M.S. Speech-Language Pathology M.S. Schedule a visit today at Call 800-24-THIEL or email 75 College Avenue • Greenville, Pa. 16125
Millions of Springs In Stock & Ready to Ship! Made In USA Since 1939 1-800-424-0500 Die Springs Torsion Springs Extension Springs Compression Springs OCTOBER 2022

Smiles need a strong foundation.

Delta Dental can help build yours.

Delta Dental of Pennsylvania


NAMI of Erie County offers no cost virtual and in person mental health education and support including, but not limited to:

Peer support groups

Family support groups

Adult, Youth, and teen Mental Health

First Aid trainings

Mental health education presentations

Evidenced based NAMI Signature classes for individuals and families of loved ones with mental health challenges

We are a resource to anyone wanting to learn more about mental health and will tailor our services to meet your needs.

Call today at (814) 456-1773 to connect with NAMI staff or email at

72 OCTOBER 2022 •
814.240.0101 • Strategic Planning • Marketing & Sales Support • Succession Planning • Executive Recruitment • Training & Development • Culture Assessments Our clients say, “talk to Decision Associates— they helped us be better than we thought we could be.” OCTOBER 2022

Work with the best.

You demand the best from your team. In return you want to give your employees the best that you have to offer. And with multiple affordable plan options for businesses of all sizes, an award-winning Health Care Concierge Team, and access to high-quality care locally and while traveling, UPMC Health Plan has you covered to meet your company’s diverse needs.

More reasons why businesses choose UPMC Health Plan


As a longtime leader in health insurance, we build strong, long-lasting relationships with our clients.


Give employees access to the best doctors and hospitals of UPMC, as well as many community doctors and hospitals, and an extensive national network of outstanding providers across the country.


As part of an integrated health care system, providers and payers work together to deliver high-quality care at affordable costs.

Plan options

No matter the size of your business, we have the right plans to meet your team’s needs.

To find out why 95% of businesses that choose UPMC Health Plan stay with UPMC Health Plan visit


PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID ERIE, PA PERMIT #199 Go for more information.

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